Gov’t pushes BHC to hike rentals

Andrew Maramwidze - BG Correspondent
Monday, 23 July 2018
Gov’t pushes BHC to hike rentals

The Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development, Vincent Seretse has directed BHC to work on fresh rental fees, a move that, once approved by cabinet will see the corporation hiking rental fees for their apartments and houses in a long time.

“BHC has not increased rental for the last 15 years. It’s a total unacceptable anomaly. Something must happen, an increase of sort must happen,” said Seretse. The minister told media last week that he has instructed BHC to start the process on hiking the rentals, as he intends to take the numbers to cabinet before year-end for approval.Seretse further bemoaned the current rental fees charged for BHC houses, saying they cannot meet the maintenance cost the parastatal incurs.

“Properties are like human beings, they need good health,” said Seretse, adding that tear and wear costs are high.The minister further said BHC’s inability to adjust rentals has killed the Corporation’s rent to buy scheme.
He said most individuals shy away from paying a mortgage at current market rate and opt to continue renting houses from BHC. He said the trend is also pushing Batswana away from an opportunity to invest in property and BHC to replicate the different housing scheme it offers, as the level of house purchasing is low.

Meanwhile minister Seretse plans to engage the Ministry of Lands and Sanitation, so that they can be an alignment between where serviced land for BHC is found and the demand. Currently BHC knows where demand for housing is but cannot find serviced land within the said areas. BHC recently launched 72 housing units in the mining town of Jwaneng where accommodation is a headache for the miners. Indications are that rentals are high in Jwaneng, due to shortage of houses and a snap survey indicates that rental charges are between P10 000.00 to 11 000.00 for a three bed-roomed house while a small house (two and half rooms) rental cost is pegged at P3000.00.

The Corporation recently developed a six -year strategy from 2018 to 2023, under which the social housing aspect is expected to deliver an average of 1500 social housing projects and 1800 commercial housing projects per annum.

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