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Wisdom should now prevail in housing row

Wisdom should now prevail in housing row

It is clear that for many years, tenants have short changed NHC paying less than market value for the houses and in response the corporation’s management has done very little to improve the houses. Most tenants in the over 16,000 houses also go without paying rent for several years, forcing the corporation to survive on a shoe string budget and therefore failing to maintain the houses.

The corporation has also failed to construct more houses because of lack of financial capacity, while other unfaithful tenants hold several units and sub-let them earning foreign currency after undertaking renovation of the houses.

Since appointment of a new Director General and Board Chairman, the state run housing company has gone wild evicting tenants with backlogs of rent arrears, entering joint ventures with private financiers to build new office and residential blocks, but also signing mortgage financing agreements with banks to give loans to tenants and other potential clients to buy new housing units.

Although it is necessary that NHC puts its house in order to carry on its key objectives of giving Tanzanians access to better housing, raising rent by more than 100 per cent makes the corporation a reserve of the affluent. Most tenants of the corporation are humble low income Tanzanians some retired who are serving or have served this country for all of their lives earning very little salaries and monthly pension stipend.

It is therefore important that both the NHC management and board of directors make wise and responsible decisions that will take aboard interests of the majority Tanzanians, whose lives depend upon these state houses most of which are badly maintained and do not resemble the rent being charged.

Further, it is important that the corporation’s management and board make good the government’s pledge to sell existing residential housing units to tenants at affordable prices, other than the superficial millions being demanded by banks providing mortgage financing in partnership with NHC.

The current wave of eviction threats, arbitrary rent increases and frenzied development of joint venture apartments which are often off the limits of the majority poor because of their foreign currency hiked rent, does not serve this country’s best interests.

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Author: EDITOR

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