Artistic rendition of the buildings designed to house 435 apartments to be built by the Federal Housing Corporation in five sites across Addis Abeba.

The Federal Housing Corporation has announced a plan to build 435 housing units in eight buildings scattered across five sites at a cost of 1.8 billion Br.

The Corporation signed construction agreements with four contractors last Friday, March 15, 2019, at Capital Hotel, on Haile G. Selassie Avenue, to deliver the buildings in two years.

"The Corporation will fully cover the cost of the construction of the houses," said Zekarias Sebsebe, deputy director's representative of the Corporation’s Urban Development Department.

Two building sites are located in Yeka, as well as one each in Kolfe Qeranio,  Nefas Silk Lafto and Bole districts. The buildings, which occupy an aggregate size of 19,000Sqm, will have residential as well as commercial units and will be between seven and twenty storeys high.

"Construction is taking place on the same land where previous homes owned by the Corporation were located, though those were demolished after the relocation of the tenants," Zekarias told Fortune.

The contractors awarded the agreements are Etete Construction, on the Genete Eyesus site in Yeka District; FE Construction Plc, Mekanisa site in Nifas Silk Laphto District; Birhan Tobiaw Building Contractor, Bole site in Bole District; and Sam Kit Construction, Aware site Arada District.

"The Corporation is still in the process of hiring a contractor for the fifth site," Zekarias said.

These buildings will be the first phase of a larger project of the Corporation, which administers 18,153 houses in Addis Abeba and Dire Dawa. The Corporation is directly accountable to the Prime Minister's Office.

During the second phase, construction will be on 38,000Sqm across six sites. It will include 11 buildings at a cost of 5.2 billion Br.

The Corporation has also hired five companies for consultancy services and geotechnical investigations. These include Image Consultancy, Nomi Engineering and ETG Designers and Consultants S.C. Two companies hired for geotechnical investigations, soil and rock core drilling, and field and laboratory testing are Jeroccia Geotechnical & Engineering Plc and Gia Engineering Plc.

The construction will be financed by rental fees collected by the Corporation and bank loans.

One of the reasons the amendment of commercial rate hikes was necessary is for the Corporation to mobilise enough funds to build and renovate old housing units, according to Demitu Hambisa, the Corporation's board chairperson.

The Corporation recently raised rental fees on 6,635 commercial units it administers by as high as 2,090pc. Announced last December, it was the first rental rate increase by the Corporation in over four decades.

Building skyscrapers in the centre of cities is a good idea, according to Berhanu Zeleke (PhD), a lecturer at Kotebe Metropolitan University and an expert in urban development studies.

"There should be proper research on which socioeconomic class of the society is in need of houses," Berhanu told Fortune.

Upon completion of the construction, the Corporation, which has more plans to build and renovate old houses in Addis Abeba and Dire Dawa, will transfer the units as rental properties, according to Zekarias.

PUBLISHED ON Mar 16,2019 [ VOL 19 , NO 985]

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