Basotho to get cheap housing loans

MAKERESEMESE LETUKA

MASERU – Nearly 1 million Basotho earning at least M1 800 can later this year start accessing housing loans, thanks to a tripartite deal between some lending houses and a construction firm.

The International Trade Forum (ITF) and Standard Lesotho Bank will finance the loans while South African firm RSB Construction will build the houses.

RSB construction has designed low cost houses that come complete with all modern conveniences including water, electricity and sewerage.

At least 900 000 houses will be built starting this year.

Standard Lesotho bank home loans manager Ezael Makara said the project will respond to most Basotho’s needs who have been struggling to have decent homes due to low salaries.

He said Standard Lesotho Bank will extend Basotho with home loans to ensure that they get access to affordable and decent homes.

Kabelo Lethunya, Director of Local Government said the project comes at a time when the housing needs stands at a total of 98 711 dwellings or 169 706 rooms.

She said the government intends to meet this need by facilitating new housing construction through creation of an enabling environment and through participation in the housing construction process.

The Lesotho Housing and Land Development Corporation and joint ventures and partnerships with development partners and the private and non-governmental sectors will spearhead the projects.

“Providing decent, affordable housing is a growing challenge in Lesotho where 70% of households earn less than M1 000 a month. Such low household incomes disqualify them from receiving loans from commercial banks. These households have mainly acquired their plots through savings, or loans from relatives and friends.

“The cost of building a formal dwelling and obtaining services is beyond most households in Lesotho therefore the Government of Lesotho is encouraging that dwellings should built in the most efficient way and for the maximum benefit for all concerned,” Lethunya said.

 

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