The Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) which facilitates and provides habitable and affordable houses through plot development, construction and maintenance is expected to start operating as a commercial entity, a move that is expected to improve service delivery and performance of the institution.
According to a press statement issued on Wednesday on MHC Public Reforms Programme, this will be achieved after amending the MHC Bill.
Among other things, the MHC (Amendment) Bill will allow MHC to raise funds by way of loans for development of land and buildings with government guaranteeing the loans and also construct commercial buildings.
The reforms also seek to expedite the construction of 2 500 houses by 2019 to ensure an increase in numbers of beneficiaries as well as fast track maintenance of houses.
“Construction of houses is one of MHC’s mandate but the corporation has failed to fulfill this mandate over the years because of lack of funds and other challenges which the corporation has been facing.
The corporation intends to maintain 1 500 houses annually. This will ensure improved customer satisfaction, provision of efficient and effective maintenance services, reduced future costs of maintenance and appreciation of the investment and property values among others,” reads the statement in part.
Through the reforms, the corporation is expected to see the establishment of a research planning and development department and upgrading of the property management systems.
“The reforms will assist MHC to be able to meet the ever growing demand for decent housing for both private and public sector,” says the statement.
According to records, MHC has 6 000 houses nationwide, but the parastatal has 140 000 clients on its waiting list.
MHC housing projections, however, are way off the mark as housing demand has soared in the country due to urban migration.
In an interview last week, Blantyre City Council director of Town Planning and Estate Services Costly Chanza said Malawi’s annual demand for housing currently stands at 21 000.
However, only between 10 000 to 15 000 houses are built each year.
“Our annual demand is 21 000, this is inclusive of those houses built by individuals, government
However, we only manage to build between 10 000 to 15 000 houses annually.
As a result, demand for houses remains an issue yet to be solved,” said Chanza, who is also immediate past president of the Institute of Physical Planners.
Treasury spokesperson Nations Msowoya said in a bid to improve the provision of housing services in the country, government has given a go-ahead to the MHC to source private funding from international institutions for its housing projects as it would no longer be able to give financial support for the said projects. n