The government is mulling reviewing the mortgage system in order to ensure that a greater number of the population accesses housing, Sunday news reports.
This was revealed by the Housing Minister Daniel Garwe who said they have noted that 90% of Zimbabweans are self-employed. Garwe said:
We are thinking of revitalising the mortgage system to match our economy. Our economy is informal and people have no pay slips yet mortgage system that we have in the country was adopted from the Smith regime and is not speaking to the current economic environment.
About 90 percent of Zimbabweans are self-employed, so the regulations and the system in its entirety does not allow them to participate in the mortgage system when seeking properties. And we are saying to banks we cannot just sit and relax and say the mortgage system has collapsed, let’s relook into it.
Garwe further said, their aim in consideringg to review mortaging systems is to make the system affordable to everyone:
Points were raised in those discussions with the Ministry of Finance, Bankers Association of Zimbabwe and other interested participants with respect to the stamp duty tax, and the suggestion is to have stamp duty tax holiday to ensure that the mortgage facilities are attractive to home seekers.
We want a stamp duty that makes the whole mortgage system affordable to every home seeker. Every Zimbabwean’s commitment for shelter is the same as their commitment to religion, no Zimbabwean will default in mortgage the same way they never default rent.
Speaking about the possibility of people defalting on their payments Garwe said:
So we want the mortgage system to be available even to gold panners because they will be having money but what they don’t have is the pay slip. One good thing about a Zimbabwean is paying rent, a Zimbabwean will not default on anything that has to do with a house whether it’s rent or it’s a mortgage. Those that default are not in the social housing system, it’s those that are in the high end of the society and we are not focusing on those.
More: Sunday News