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BHC uphill task to plug housing deficit

ISAAC PINIELO
The Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) says it is upping efforts to address the country’s housing shortage by building 1,500 housing units annually under a number of social housing schemes.

Rapid urbanisation coupled with limited supply of serviced land has resulted in a backlog as housing supply, both for rental and purchase, does not commensurate demand.

During the half-year period ended September 30, 2017, BHC chief executive officer, Reginald Motswaiso said the corporation delivered 600 houses under the Self Help Housing Agency (SHHA) scheme and 313 houses under Public Officers Housing Initiative (POHI).

At the end of the review period, he said 900 SHHA houses and 152 POHI houses were at different stages of construction and are expected to be delivered before the end of the financial year.

According to Motswaiso, the 372 Installment Purchase Scheme (IPS) and youth housing units are expected to be delivered in the next financial year.

On the commercial side of the business, Motswaiso said 1,800 housing units are to be delivered annually to reduce shortage of accommodation in the country, adding that 132 units are expected to be delivered by year-end in Gaborone and Jwaneng.

The corporation further stated that at the end of the reporting period, 473 units were at different stages of construction and expected to be delivered by next financial year.

“Some of these properties will be delivered in partnerships with other parties and will incorporate alternative building technologies,” he

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said.

Motswaiso also noted that despite the current economic conditions, the corporation is committed to returning positive results going into the future.

He said the BHC customer base; especially individual buyers continue to struggle to afford housing, as their incomes have been stagnant for a long time.

Commenting on the results, Motswaiso said the corporation’s profit after tax increased by 534% despite economic challenges.

“The results reflect management’s ability to manage expenditure in order to mitigate the negative impact of declining revenues,” he said.

The corporation recorded revenues of P115 million for the six months, a decline of 36% when compared to the P180 million recorded in the same period in the prior year.

Motswaiso blamed the decrease in revenue on the sales revenue, which decreased by P72 million or 79%. “The underperformance on sales revenue was mainly caused by a bulk sale to a major customer which did not go through in the first half as expected,” he said.

He added that the sale is expected to be closed by the end of the third quarter. He said the rental income, which is the second major revenue stream for the corporation has remained flat at P88 million compared to the same period in the prior year.



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