Most Zimbabweans live below the poverty datum line yet they find it difficult to breakthrough into better life. The majority are struggling to get basic needs like shelter, food, clothing and health care. The greatest percentage of their incomes goes towards rentals leaving them with a little that can be channelled towards improving their living standards. Money used to pay rent is not an investment at all but an outgoing.
It is clear that continued renting is the continuation of poverty to the majority of Zimbabweans because after paying rent one may not afford to buy decent food, clothing, and healthcare and send their children to school. Their children normally grow up to be tenants again hence the cycle of poverty continues. In the event of the most certain thing of death befalling the breadwinner of the family the family is relegated down to being destitute.
Let us take an example of a person earning $400, pays rent for two rooms in Harare Warren Park 1 of $200 inclusive of rates. The person is only left with only $200 for food, transport, health care, clothing and school fees. It is clear that suffering continues because it is inadequate. Within a year money lost in rentals amounts to $2400. It is a lot of money, isn’t it? What about in two years, three years and so on. In five years it will be $12000 good enough to buy a fully developed stand and even building a core house! This is a wise investment, but it can’t be done by a tenant in Zimbabwe and causes the cycle of poverty to continue.
The current mainstream housing sector in Zimbabwe does not offer a solution to break the cycle of poverty. The housing financial sector for example discriminates against low income earners by insisting on high deposits, collateral security and other strict requirements. Most land developers insist on cash payment terms which are not affordable to many low and modest income earners.
Be that as it may, hope is not all lost. ShelterSol Holdings has sustainable housing solutions to low and modest income earners in Zimbabwe to break the cycle of poverty. According to Mr Ticharwa Kagu, the Chief Executive Officer of ShelterSol Holdings, ‘’ ShelterSol is a One Stop Housing solutions provider, enhancing Zimbabwean community development by ending homelessness and creating employment. Organised work based and community based groups of people and individuals are free to visit our offices at number 50 Bradfield Road Hillside Harare so that we can explore avenues of working together in housing delivery. We are engaging Local authorities and the Government because we believe that together we can go far towards the achievement of 125 000 housing units target set in ZIMASSET.”
ShelterSol provides housing loans to the low income earners repayable over 5 years. Through its Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe registered Micro- Finance Institution, ShelterSol Finance Pvt Ltd, micro-mortgages are given to low and modest income earners to buy fully serviced stands as well as for the construction of core houses and main houses to those clients with fully serviced stands. ShelterSol Property Development also does the actual house construction.
Holding all other factors constant, ShelterSol Property Development Pvt Ltd can complete the construction of a housing unit in two months’ time and the client can occupy their property immediately. Repayment of the loan is expected to commence after occupation because the rent burden would have been removed. Instead of paying an outgoing of rent the client will be paying for their property. No more merry go round in poverty but from being a tenant to being a landlord, from being homeless to becoming a home owner.
ShelterSol Holdings targets those members of the society who had been traditionally relegated from obtaining housing products for example those informally employed, civil servants, parastatal employees, club members and union members. Loan terms are very friendly so that everyone’s housing need is satisfied. ShelterSol is geared to play a pivotal role in breaking the cycle of poverty by providing affordable housing products and creation of the much needed employment in Zimbabwe in line with ZIMASSET.
SHELTERSOL, EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE, SHELTERED!