Women’s group launches housing scheme
BULAWAYO-BASED girl child and women empowerment group Upfumi Kumadzimai-Inotho Kubomama has launched a housing scheme aimed at providing affordable and decent accommodation for its members.
Upfumi Kumadzimai-Inotho Kubomama co-ordinator Mrs Nonceba Mwedzi-Agwaniru said the organisation embarked on a housing scheme last year as part of its efforts to ensure women’s social and economic empowerment.
“Security and ownership of land is critical to social and economic empowerment and as such we decided to come up with a housing scheme last year where by each member contributes a certain amount for the purchase of residential stands as a way of ensuring that women get decent accommodation while also alleviating them from poverty.
“As you are aware very few women formally own the property held in their marriage. As a result, their ability to keep the property they shared with their husband upon the death of their husband becomes dependent both on proving their marriage, which can pose great challenges, and on warding off in-laws intent on property grabbing,” she said.
said most women are unemployed and cannot afford decent residential housing due the prohibitively high cost of land.
“Often, for the available housing schemes for low income earners, developers and providers of mortgage facilities come up with terms and conditions mostly beyond the capacity of intended beneficiaries. We therefore thought of pooling our resources together and buy each other stands,” she said.
The organisation which has over 300 members entered into an agreement with a land developer for the purchase of stands at Rangemore in Umguza District.
Each member of the housing scheme is obliged to pay a joining fee of $21 and monthly subscription of $60.
The organisation then pays a deposit of $1 500 of the required $5 000 by the land owner with the remainder being paid by the individual beneficiary over a period of two years.
Mrs Mwedzi-Agwaniru said Agribank has agreed to offer its members mortgages for the construction of houses.
“Agribank has agreed in principle to fund the construction of each of our members that would have completed to pay for their stand,” she said.
Upfumi Kumadzimai-Inotho Kubomama is also involved in a number of income generating projects.