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Give title deeds: HRT
The Zimbabwean
December 23, 2012

View this article on The Zimbabwean website

Harare Residence Trust has appealed to the City Council to accommodate long-serving occupants of council houses by offering them title deeds through an ownership scheme.

Many houses in high density areas like Mabvuku, Chizhanje, Tafara, Mbare, Highfield, Mufakose and Dzivarasekwa are owned by the council and have been occupied by the same residents for more than 25 years.

According to HRT, the Ownership Scheme would allow tenants to buy a house over a period of time, with an agreement being made between the buyer and the local authority. Tenants would either make part payment to the council or purchase the house through a rent-to-buy model.

"HRT notes an increasing number of households across Harare that have not obtained title deeds to their properties, yet residents have been occupants for periods in excess of 25 years. This is grossly unfair considering that the residents have been paying rates to the council for years," said Onismo Mushonga, HRT Residents Council Chairperson.

Council spokesperson, Leslie Gwindi, told The Zimbabwean that the houses would remain council property to accommodate other generations.

"It does not make sense for the council to sell the houses because we have many generations that will occupy those houses in future. The current tenants are even struggling to pay council rates so how will they be able to buy the houses?" said Gwindi.

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