By Seble Teweldebirhan
Addis Ababa, October 15, 2012 (Ezega.com) - Addis Ababa Administration announced that a registration date for the 40/60 housing project is not yet settled. After a rumor that there will be a registration on Saturday this week, the residents of Addis Ababa were in rush to get documents from the Keble administration to be ready for the registration. The rumor was that the registration on Saturday will be for only 15,000 people. There was also some information that the registration will take place on ‘first come first serve’ bases. That created a huge concern that there might be a wild crowd and rush to be one of the 15,000.
The concept of 40/60 housing project is a new strategy by the government to solve the growing housing problem in the country. The plan by the Ministry of Urban Development and Construction is a complementary strategy with the current condominium housing projects.
The plan specifies that those interested to get the house will save 40% of the price of the house, and the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) will provide the rest 60% in loan. The government will subsidize the building of the house with 16-20% and provides land for the construction. The City Administration already designated 25 hectares of land for the project. Targeting low income families, the project is a promise by the government to make poor families home owners with the price they can afford.
Ever since the announcement of this program, many have been waiting to benefit. With an extremely high house rent that increase almost on a daily bases in Addis Ababa, housing is one of the most burning questions for many people. Therefore, the rumor that the registration for the program will begin on Saturday created a huge crowed around Kebele Administrations. People spent the last two days trying to renew their ID cards, get a certificate saying they do not own a house, etc.
The crowd was huge and unmanageable at times. Keble Administrations was unable to manage the number of people who showed up in their doorsteps almost unexpectedly and police had to interfere in some of the areas. The branch offices of CBE in Addis also had trouble with a crowd trying to get information.
Many suggested that the crisis this week is a statement for two different factors. The first is the desperation of the residents and willingness to do whatever it takes to benefit from the program. The other is a warning to the government to find another suitable way for registration. With the excessive number of people who are interested to register and the limited opportunities to be registered, the crisis that will follow might cause another dangerous scenario.
The government today announced that residents were misled with wrong information. According to the Mayor’s office, the city administration is not yet ready to announce the exact registration date for the 40/60 housing project. “We have finalized all the preparation. However, we did not decide a date for registration. There will be an announcement regarding where, how and who can register for the program. Until then we kindly request patience from the residents,” the statement said.
Seble Teweldebirhan is Addis Ababa based Reporter for Ezega.com. She can be reached by sending email through this form.