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Botswana in chronic housing problems

Staff Writer
A national Housing and Population census expert has warned that a policy for affordable housing has become urgent for Botswana’s urban dwellers, after the national housing and population census of 2011 revealed that over 50% of urban dwellers in Gaborone, Selebi-Phikwe and Francistown live in expensive rented houses.

The report observed that in  the urban areas of the country, renting of housing units by individual house owners seems to be common and appears to be gaining ground.

“Therefore, there is a need to formulate proper laws that should aim at protecting both the tenant and the house owners. At the same time, there is an urgent need to develop affordable housing units in the urban areas by the Government in partnership with private sector”.

“Otherwise it is quite likely that the country will not be in position to achieve the goals of Vision 2016 and National Development Plan 10 to provide decent and affordable housing for all with a safe and sanitary environment,” the report says.

The  report further observes that while BHC has been established for the purpose of providing affordable housing the

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proportion of houses provided by BHC has decreased from 4.60 percent in 2001 to 1.72 percent in 2011.

In the four urban districts of  Gaborone, Francistown, Lobatse and Selebi-Phikwe, where over 50% of the households are living in the rented houses provided by individual house-owners, BHC is required to increase its efforts for building more housing stock, which can be made available to citizen on easy terms in an affordable manner with financial support extended to by the financial institutions.

“Botswana must further develop its housing infrastructure and provide support for the proper operation of the housing market so that good quality basic shelter is available to all. It is inevitable that this will require a level of subsidy that can be regarded as a social and economic investment by the state”.



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