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Help State solve housing deficit, says Inonge

WINA

KAPALA CHISUNKA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has urged stakeholders in the housing industry to assist in reducing the housing deficit, which currently stands at 3 million units.
Vice-President Inonge Wina said Government, on its own, cannot manage to address the problem of shortage of accommodation in its efforts to provide decent housing to citizens.
She was speaking in a speech read on her behalf by deputy minister in the Vice-President’s office Steven Kampyongo during the World Habitat Day gala dinner in Lusaka on Friday.
“Government alone cannot address this problem. Various stakeholders are needed to provide decent houses to our citizens. And as Government, we will continue partnering with organisations such as Habitat for Humanity Zambia in the provision of shelter to our people,” she said.
She also added that Government is resolved to address the housing deficit and one of the efforts being made to alleviate the housing deficit in the country is the revision of the outdated Housing Policy of 1994.
“While the rapid economic and population growth rates experienced have been good for our country, they have created a unique set of challenges. One of the challenges is the rise in demand for new housing in our towns and cities,” she said.
Mrs Wina said due to rapid urbanisation, the population growth rate in urban areas is almost twice as much as the country’s growth rate as people continue to relocate even when they cannot afford decent housing in the cities. She said this has created negative economic and social consequences.
Earlier, Habitat for Humanity Zambia board chairperson Douglas Katengo said his organisation in partnership with other partners will continue to supplement Government’s efforts in the provision of decent houses.
“We are happy that Government is revising the housing policy to ensure that we are able to resolve the current housing challenges and ensure it caters for future generations. But this is an undertaking that requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders,” Mr Katengo said.

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