Local Government and Housing Minister Emmanuel Chenda has disclosed that Zambia currently has an estimated housing deficit of about three million housing units.
Mr. Chenda said this presents a huge investment opportunity in housing development which he said has remained untapped.
He said this during the inaugural conference of the Zambia Property Owners Association (ZAPOA) in Lusaka today.
He said the creation of new districts has also provided opportunities for investing in houses, office buildings, guest houses and restaurants, banks and insurance companies, shopping malls, warehouses and recreation facilities.
Mr. Chenda stated that it was the desire of government that mortgages and construction financing should be affordable to would-be investors.
The minister said in a bid to make mortgages for housing development affordable, President Michael Sata recently directed the recapitalisation of the Zambia National Building Society, to which effect the national treasury released K167 million to the society.
He however noted that the demand for property development is huge and has since called on financing institutions and other property developers to invest in this lucrative industry which he said has the potential to improve the quality of majority citizens through job creation, improved living and working environment.
Mr. Chenda also stated that government was aware of the concerns of property owners regarding the cumbersome and slow process of acquiring title deeds which hinders property owners to access mortgages due to lack of title deeds.
He said his ministry was equally concerned as titled properties would result in increased payments of rates and stamp duty which government greatly needs for increased investment in water supply and sewerage, road, power and social infrastructure development.
Mr. Chenda said the creation of ZAPOA therefore provides a grand opportunity for various stakeholders including government to work together in addressing some of the constraints to the growth of property development and ownership.