Government courts banks to house public servants

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Government through the Ministry of Lands and Housing (MLH) has appealed to local private financial institutions to assist in financing the construction of affordable houses for public officers.

In his briefing on land governance issues to the Bankers Association at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) on wednesday, Permanent Secretary (PS) in the ministry Thato Raphaka requested financiers to make proposals to collaborate with government in providing quality affordable housing to the unserved market.Raphaka said housing provision remains a major challenge with the demand for housing outstripping supply. He said the un-served group is currently ineligible for low income housing programmes and mortgages from financial institutions.He said following the approval of the implementation of the public officers housing scheme, the government found a need to reserve money for facilitation of the construction of houses for public officers countrywide.

He said as a way of citizen empowerment, anyone, including public officers themselves will be open to bid to build houses that will then be rented out to public officers. He said the scheme targets 540 houses countrywide. He explained that the expectation will be that bidders do not have land, but can only be allocated a piece of land after their bid has been successful.He said this is when they expect financial institutions to chip in and assist those awarded tenders for the initiative. He said government would guarantee the loans through rentals for public officers who occupy the houses, or buy the houses outright if the owner is willing to sell. He said the houses would be built on an identical approved plan.

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