THE Ministry of LocalGovernment, Public Worksand National Housing in association with the Land and Housing Developers Association of Zimbabwe has begun developing a Land and Hous
ing Developers Act, which seeks to facilitate and regulate the operation of land and housing developers.
Erica Jones, deputysecretary in the department of Housing and stateland Management said: “The ministry has identified the need to facilitate whilst regulating land development and also to acknowledge the role land and housing developers play in providing housing, particularly in the medium and high income groups releasing the government to concentrate on low income housing.
The young but necessary industry is totally unregulated and this is not conducive for the developers and clients at large.”
She said the ministry held a “think-tank” one-day workshop on Wednesday in a bid to consult with stakeholders and interested parties with a view to coming up with an all-inclusive regulatory blueprint.
The blueprint seeks to uphold the efforts of land developers without stifling the growing industry. Jones said the idea was to safeguard the interests of the developers and the public.
Association chairman Chester Mhende said the industry had come of age and there was need to regulate the sector in order to set clear terms of reference so that the industry and the public could know how to relate to each other.
Mhende said: “The last 20 years developers have emerged in an area that had been the prerogative of the public sector, the government and local authorities. We have been operating informally and we need to be regulated such that we may be able to set clear terms and reference for the industry.”
He lamented the financial structure’s lack of room for private land developers saying the situation was not conducive for the industry.
“The financial structure never had room for us and we need to create a fluid relationship to an extent that the structure is adopted by the system,” Mhende said.
The association presented a draft bill to government with a view to providing regulatory framework, chart the terms of reference for industry formation.
The bill would enable the association to act as a mouthpiece for members on areas of concern.
Mhende said the association wanted to address “perception problems created by bogus developers, a situation which cannot be allowed to continue unchecked”.
The Land and Housing Developers Association comprises of individuals and organizations that develop primary, secondary and tertiary infrastructure on land that the individuals or organisations own independently or in partnership with landowners, the government, local authorities, private companies or individuals.
The association has developed a professional code of conduct designed to cover all eventualities and order every member to uphold the status of the association and the dignity of the profession to push for the regulation of the industry.