AT least 198 families in Gweru’s oldest suburb, Mtapa, will become homeowners after the Gweru City Council agreed to give them ownership of the properties.
This comes after several years of lobbying city fathers.
The properties include one-roomed and semi-detached cluster houses in Mtapa 3 and 7 that were built before independence.
Mayor Josiah Makombe yesterday confirmed the development, saying the remaining families would be relocated to new suburbs that the council intended to
“Mtapa is one of the oldest suburbs which needs upgrading in order to uplift the standard of living of the residents,” he said.
“Conversion of the rented houses to homeownership will see 198 families in Mtapa owning houses. Mtapa Section 3 will have 127 families benefiting, while Section 7 will see 71 families getting ownership.”
Makombe said 166 families would be relocated to new housing schemes in Mambo Infill, Shamrock Infill, and Mkoba 21.
Gweru United Progressive Residents and Ratepayers Association director David Chikore said residents in the two sections agreed that the elderly would get first priority.
“Residents agreed that the elderly occupants would remain at the houses to claim ownership, while the remaining (occupants) would be offered residential stands at subsidised prices in the new suburbs,” he said.
Makombe said the city had recorded an upsurge in the demand for housing.
He said the housing waiting list had increased to 33 900 people.