Loans Did Not Affect BHC Prices

| December 3, 2014 | 0 Comments

Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) was previously given concessionary loans either from the Public Debt Service Fund or from external agencies for the purpose of building houses.

Minister of Lands and Housing, Mr Prince Maele, said these were loans and not subvention or subsidies, and they were not aimed at reducing the prices of houses, but rather served to increase the number of housing units constructed. “Therefore the decision to stop providing BHC with loans neither increased nor decreased the prices of BHC houses,” he said.

Mr Maele told Parliament on December 1 that the Public Service Debt Fund was stopped because BHC was expected to commercialise its operations with a view that the return in investment would cover the operational cost and still allow for expansion to rollout more houses to the nation.

“This meant that the prices that would prevail for houses on sale and those on rental would be at market prices, thus giving BHC a good and stable foundation to use other market sources of funding,” he said.

He told the House that the cost of housing was a factor of the inputs of construction therefore the increases in housing prices were not as a result of the decision to stop the Public Debt Service Fund.

Minister Maele said the cost of houses would undoubtedly go down if there was direct subsidy towards development of housing.

He said government continues to look into strategies which seek to provide affordable housing and it was for this reason that government recently decided to launch the social housing programme.

The minister also said the programme involves funding various housing delivery schemes such as turnkey housing development, youth housing, installment purchase scheme and public officers’ housing.

Minister Maele was responding to a question from the Member of Parliament for Shashe West, Mr Fidelis Molao, who had asked why government decided to stop the subventionsubsidy to BHC, which provided affordable housing to Batswana and whether the cost of BHC housing units went up since the decision was made and if so by whet per cent.

Mr Molao had also asked whether the cost would not considerably go down and enable ordinary citizens to easily acquire houses provided government continues to subsidise and if government would consider reversing its decision to cancel the subsidy.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Business & Finance

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