Steep rentals for FBC houses

Staff Reporter

First Banking Corporation (FBC) housing project has sparked outrage from prospective home seekers over steep rentals which are beyond the reach of ordinary Zimbabweans.

The development comes at a time Government is parcelling land to private developers as it pushes to beat the target to build 220 000 housing units by 2025. However, findings by this publication show that some of the unscrupulous developers are instituting stringent terms and conditions that make it difficult for ordinary Zimbabweans to access homes.

FBC Kuwadzana Housing Project becomes the latest project that is beyond the reach of ordinary Zimbabweans, thereby defeating the ‘housing for low to middle income earners’ thrust by Government. The houses are up for rentals only.

A source at the FBC Valuations department confided that the Bank is renting the houses to individuals earning US$770 as minimum salary. One is required to initially pay USD$380, then US$570 as security deposit, US$50 application and processing fee as well as US$25 for monthly levies before occupation of any of the properties. In total one has to part ways with over US$1000 before they can occupy any of the units.

This publication spoke to a civil servant whose application was turned down. “I was first made to pay a non-refundable US$50 as application and processing fee. I supplied all the necessary paper work including bank statements for my lucrative shelf company. Two days after submission, l was surprised to receive a phone call advising that my application was unsuccessful. I was to learn that a lot of my work colleagues had also been turned down,” said the Government worker.

“I contacted the bank to inquire on why l had failed to acquire one of the housing units, at first l was told it’s a computerised system that does the selection hence there is no way to tell me where l had gotten it wrong. I was, however, told that my US$200 was not considered as salary and that my private earnings could not help,” stressed the civil servant.

The majority of civil servants who applied for the housing scheme bemoaned how FBC was fleecing home seekers of US$50 when they know the majority do not qualify. CABS Building Society and National Building Society (NBS) have been running housing schemes benefitting the majority of Zimbabweans.