An assessment of the effectiveness of partnerships in low income housing development in Zimbabwe: A case study of Dzivarasekwa extension Harare
Manyowa, Christopher Kudakwashe
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The study sought to assess the effectiveness of partnerships in the provision of low income housing in Zimbabwe using a case study of Dzivarasekwa Extension in Harare. The occurrence of rapid urbanisation, with no meaningful supply of new housing units due to lack of funding for low income housing has resulted in a serious housing shortage as evidenced by the sprouting of unplanned settlements in peri urban and urban areas, hence the need for this study. The unplanned settlements do not have basic infrastructure such as water, sewer and roads. The new housing policy in Zimbabwe has embraced partnerships as a strategy to deliver low income housing. A pilot low income housing scheme, using a partnership strategy involving a community based organisation was recently implemented in Dzivarasekwa Extension. The study of the pilot housing scheme sought to find out the following; understanding of partnerships among the development partners involved, achievements made to date, the critical success factors contributing to the achievements and what policy proposals can be made to improve the effectiveness of partnership initiatives in low income housing delivery. A qualitative interpretivist philosophy underpinned the research as well as the research design. The researcher selected fifteen participants comprising ten beneficiaries from the housing scheme and five from development partners. In- depth interviews and field observations were used to gather primary data. For secondary data, the researcher relied on archival material, documents and reports from the partner organisations. The findings showed that the project was donor funded and had been a success as it created basic physical infrastructure and services to the community although the implementation process was very long and cumbersome. This success was driven by long term commitment, mutual trust, consensus culture among the development partners and a supporting institutional framework. The major driver for the success was funding from a donor organisation. The physical environment for the community has improved. The researcher also found out that at the household level, the beneficiaries were struggling to develop their own stands. In view of the research findings it was recommended that a vibrant institutional framework be put in place to promote partnerships, municipal authorities provide social housing and also develop alternative building technologies that may reduce building costs. The areas recommended for further study relate to developing mortgage financing options for the urban poor who are unable to access ordinary mortgage finance.