Government has launched the third round of the housing subsidy in the Northern Region though some councils have not completed houses earmarked for the previous stage.
On Monday, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Jean Kalilani presented a progress of the Decent Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme (Dahsp) in Nkhata Bay where about 440 houses are still under construction. Also incomplete are 30 grant-aided houses for ultra-poor families.
The report cites delayed provision of construction materials and administration funds.
“Some of these building materials come in limited numbers for beneficiaries to complete their houses on time,” Nkhata Bay District Council deputy chairperson Kingstone Makwenda-Phiri said.
In Mzuzu City, where Kalilani launched the third phase on Tuesday, 50 houses are at roofing stage while 10 are completed.
The remaining 15 received materials late though supply of building materials somehow improved in the second phase, the city council reports.
In an interview, the Minister said only grant-aided houses for the ultra-poor are incomplete “because they require special planning and extra resources”.
Government pays fully for five houses per constituency.
“This is like a gift from government,” said Kalirani. “So, we have to plan properly and give enough criteria for councils to identify the right people.”
Director of housing in the ministry, Eunice Chipangula, said delivery of materials to all the regions in the new phase will be done concurrently and suppliers will be delivering directly to the housing development groups.
Previously, councils were keeping materials in warehouses “longer than necessary” due to mobility challenges, she said.