Mega housing project gets $19m in Tz
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA - Tanzania is championing to improve the livelihood of civil servants including teachers following the disbursement of Tsh.44 billion (approximately $19.7 million) to Watumishi Housing Company (WHC). A total of 800 housing units were constructed in the first phase in five projects undertaken in Mtwara, Lindi, Morogoro, Dar es Salaam, and Simiyu while other schemes were implemented in Mwanza and Tanga region respectively, “The government aspires to shift from a middle income country as you’re aware that there are some features in the middle income states compared to the low income. One of them is the culture of an individual to buy a house in a surveyed area,” says WHC, Chief Executive Officer, Dr Fred Msemwa in an exclusive interview with the East African Business Week. Msemwa said in most middle income states, individuals are not involved in the construction of houses and buying land, instead all the transactions are done by recognized firms and the process is undertaken professionally. He said that the professionals companies identified survey plots and construct decent houses to pave way for selling to individuals while the government maintains its taxes according to the law of the land. “The response from the civil servants is very high but the huge challenge is the interest rates from the social basket funds that finances the civil servants constructed houses across the country, adding that they decide to come with other techniques to construct cheap houses to ordinary public workers such as nurses, teachers, academic officers and municipality workers,” noted Dr. Msemwa The CEO further added that WHC has also decided to open doors for public employees to pay their houses in installments from time to time until he or she completes the whole loan. For the construction of the teacher houses in Lindi, Mtwara and Tanga the company has teamed up with Tanzania Education Authority (TEA) as part of their efforts to revamp teacher’s accommodation. “Through government intervention we also hope that the cost for land and building materials will be lowered to enable us to construct affordable houses, “he explained as response from civil servants is very high. The main objectives of the company is to promote private investment and as a real estate developer through encouraging individuals to buy shares eventually become part of the company shareholder. He said the company is in the long run diversity of commitment to become a commercial entity by buying plots, develop them and sell to the people including building commercial houses for rent in the major cities in the country. According him the passing of Unit Title Act 2008 through Parliament enables the buyers or tenants to obtain collateral or loan from any financial institutions to foster their social and economic goals. He said the main challenge observed in the initial stage was the fact that many people were not aware of mortgage financing. “We as well got complaints from majority of applicants that interest rates charged by banks and financial institutions were high and this scared away many potential buyers,” he noted. Civil servants wishing to acquire houses built by the company have four options which include paying cash, mortgage financing from banks, down payment as well as hire purchase which is currently applicable for the Morogoro project only. Watumishi Housing Company (WHC) is a public entity established in 2013. WHC is a property developer and a licensed fund manager for management of the WHC Real Estate. Investment Trust ( WHC-REIT). WHC-REIT was licensed by the Capital Market and Security Authority (CMSA) in 2015 and became the first fully-fledged REIT to be established in Tanzania and East Africa. As a property developer, WHCREIT is the main implementer of the Tanzania Public Servant Housing Scheme tasked with building of 50,000 housing units in five phases. Houses shall be sold under mortgage arrangements to public servants and other eligible members of the public across Tanzania. Investment in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) is a new concept in Tanzania and yet it provides an immense opportunity for the general public to participate and create personal wealth as well as contribute towards overall economic development. WHC-REIT seeks to work with other national and international fund managers and other stakeholders to develop this market in a manner that is beneficial to all parties.
Watumishi Housing Company (WHC) is a public entity established in 2013. WHC is a property developer and a licensed fund manager for management of the WHC Real Estate.