Government employees and associations gathered voluntarily longing to get houses, are met with a couple of new modalities to develop communal housing projects. The promise Mayor Adanech Abiebie made to meet the increasing demand in the capital through novel mechanisms nearly six months ago, seems to be kept on the realisation of the modalities forwarded by the Addis Abeba City Administration and Addis Abeba Cooperative Agency.

The Administration is set to offer plots of land for housing developments to government employee unions who manage to lock in 10pc-15pc savings at a Bank and can prove they are without title deeds. The second modality, drafted by the Agency, aims to facilitate plots of land for unions of individuals who had registered for condominium houses a decade ago but have not received homes despite remaining in the system.

Tilahun Worku, chief of the City Administration cabinet, says this is one of the several modalities they have been working on. He believes the challenge for most civil servants would be accessing bank financing for construction.

"We understand housing is a problem for city residents," he told Fortune.

The development modality for government employees requires being a citizen employed within the capital with no previous home ownership. The allotment of land for the housing projects is determined in proportion to the number of people within the union cooperatives and their intended project sizes. The least number of members is 40 for a four-storey building, while the highest is 150 members for a two-basement complex with 15 floors.

Samuel Mitiku is one of the many eagerly awaiting the realisation of this modality. He works for the Social Affairs Bureau in the City Administration. After learning that the Administration was working to support employees in building homes, he has organised 80 people thus far and hopes to add ten more before requesting financial contributions.

"We're aiming for a nine-storey building," he told Fortune.

Samuel hopes the proposed modality will be enforced as rent and galloping inflation have him strapped for cash.

According to the bill drafted by the City Administration, the cost of a single unit begins at 479,880 Br for a 60sqm single bedroom, with a three-bedroom 105sqm unit estimated to cost 1.5 million Br.

The other housing modality ushered in by the Agency is tabled at the Ministry of Justice, waiting for approval.

According to Gizachew Tesema, director of the Agency, this modality attracted the attention of many. He said over 12,000 people have expressed interest in cluster housing, and over half claim to have deposited a significant portion.

"Plot is prepared in at least three districts," said Gizachew.

It is intended to address the needs of financially capable groups who have not closed saving accounts on the 2013 condominium housing project and are willing not to transfer ownership for a minimum of five years.

Concession to construct a house under this modality will entail cancellation from the 2013 condominium savings list.

The Ministry of Urban & Development revealed a couple of weeks ago to Parliamentarians that no construction has been done for condominiums in the budget year.

An urban planning expert who wishes to remain anonymous warns location, financing and contractual obligations within the cooperatives must be considered before large-scale implementation of these modalities. The expert said projects such as urban housing have been taxing even for the government and will be invincible to citizens without some form of subsidization.

According to the expert, the biggest hurdle to successfully completing these modalities will be financing, as neither government employees nor private citizens within the capital will be liquid enough to lead large-scale housing projects.

The expert also recommends the City Administration consider the location when selecting a plot to avoid the displacement of city centre dwellers.

PUBLISHED ON Feb 04,2023 [ VOL 23 , NO 1188]

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