Writing on her Facebook page, Mrs Mwanawasa said:
One of the major challenges the city of Lusaka is facing is the lack of affordable decent accommodation.
Most of our young people in the city are living in one-room arrangements because this is all they can manage to pay for. For those who decide to rent a full decent house, you will find that they are spending as much as 70% of the salary on accommodation alone.
Most tenants are exploited. Some houses that are being rented out are in bad conditions and the tenants have no say, its take it or leave it. We need to stop this accommodation crisis in Lusaka, and the time to do it is now.
When you vote us into office as Mayor of Lusaka, we shall embark on a robust program with the City Council to address this challenge.
We shall do the following:
1. Construct Affordable Council Houses:
We as a Council shall embark on a long-term program of constructing affordable housing for the people of Lusaka. It is not impossible for a City Council to achieve this if it has the will and the determination. We shall build decent, low-cost houses that will be rented out to the public. We shall build bedsitters, we shall build one bedroomed flats, we shall build two and three bedroomed low-cost council houses. The houses will be of good standard befitting the modern era.
In this way we shall bring down the price of rentals in Lusaka. As a Council we shall offer stiff competition in terms of affordable decent low-cost housing.
2. The Council will regulate the rentals of houses in Lusaka.
All rented houses in Lusaka will have to meet a minimum standard. We have done our research; we have seen how some houses that are on rent in Lusaka are in a bad shape. When you vote us into office as Mayor, we as a Council shall set regulations on the state of a house that can be rented out in Lusaka. We shall do this because we do not want our people to be exploited. We believe that the tenants deserve to rent a house that is in a good condition.
3. As a Council we shall protect the rights of tenants in Lusaka
We know that many of our tenants in Lusaka have little say on landlord tenant issues. Many times when the tenants raise any concerns, the landlord will just say if you are not happy leave the house, go and rent elsewhere. The majority of our people in Lusaka live in rented houses. It is unacceptable that we can have such a large number of people living in rented houses without any protection of rights from the Council. When you vote us into office we shall make sure that the rights of tenants in Lusaka are well looked after.
Our mission is to see Lusaka have affordable decent accommodation for all. For this vision to be achieved we cannot do it alone. We shall need your support. On August 11, vote for Maureen Mwanawasa as Mayor for Lusaka. Together we shall work to provide Lusaka with affordable and decent accommodation. Together we shall protect the rights of tenants in Lusaka. Together we shall ensure that rented houses in Lusaka meet a certain minimum standard.