U R B A N M ANAGEMENT

akzente special

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Low Cost Housing:

Major order for housing construction
he municipal administration of Addis Ababa has commissioned GTZ to build at least 10,000 homes a year. Over 8,000 apartments are currently under construction or already completed at 19 building sites in the Ethiopian capital. Last year the Ethiopian premier Meles Zenawi formally opened the first pilot project in the presence of GTZ Managing Director Wolfgang Schmitt. The Ethiopian government is now considering whether the GTZ low-cost housing technology is suitable for constructing all public buildings throughout the country. The opening for the major order came from a regional technical cooperation component using simple technology to promote housing construction (low cost housing) in Tigray Province. Arkebe Oqubay, mayor of Addis Ababa, was convinced by the concept. Ruth Erlbeck, head of the GTZ team in the project: “We were able to offer construction prices up to 50 per cent below usual rates.” The major order from the city of Addis Ababa is supplementing the simple technology housing construction project, which is assisted by GTZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The low cost housing project is advising the municipal administration on planning and implementing programmes for low cost housing. The project is also assisting basic training and upgrading for local personnel and promoting small and medium sized construction companies. GTZ International Services, which is responsible for business with clients other than the German Federal Government, is handling the technical and financial side of the construction projects in Addis Ababa. The main goal is to solve the extreme shortage of housing, improve construction quality and at the same time create jobs. “Low cost housing technology is all about cheap, good quality and sustainable construction,” is how Ralph Trosse, technical consultant on the project, explains it, adding, “Anybody who wants to move in must buy the home and make a down payment of 30 per cent of the construction costs.” The rest is financed through housing loans with a term of 15 years. The municipal administration provides prefinancing. Ruth Erlbeck: “We are trying in this way to promote self-responsibility and ownership among the occupants. Both have a positive impact on repairs, maintenance and caring for the installations.” t

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