Tenants of governmental houses in Addis Ababa requested the Federal Housing Corporation to revise the new house rent tariff it introduced recently.
Through their association 6,635 tenants have furiously protested the revised tarrif rate the Housing Corporation imposed on business outlets. The tenants claim that the increment is as high as 15,000 percent. The association this week issued a statement demanding the Federal Housing Corporation to undertake a new study on the proposed tariff rate.
The tenants association chairman Yohannes Abebe told The Reporter that the business out lets did not protest the idea of making increments on rental houses. However, he said, the implementation procedure is unjust. “The increment is outrageous and it is introduced at a time when there is an economic slowdown in the country. The fact that the corporation made this outrageous increment at a time when even the government admits that there is an economic slowdown has confused us,” Yohannes said.
The tenants association stated that the Housing Corporation did not make consultations with tenants in making the increment adding that the tariff rate is made on erroneous input data.
Yohannes said that the revised house rent tariff rate would escalate the cost of living in the city. “Since the business out lets would pass the increment to the public it would exacerbate the inflation rate. Restaurants, bakeries and shops will pass the cost to consumers and this would aggravate the already biting inflation rate,” he laments.
Yohannes said that following the Federal Housing Corporation’s announcement of the revised rent tariffs private building owners are making increments on rent. “Taking the footsteps of the corporations building owners are revising their rates and this will destabilise the real estate market,” he added.
Considering the appeals of the tenants the Federal Housing Corporation made some adjustments on the new tariff rate. The corporation proposed that the new tarrif rate would be applicable over three years’ period. However, the tenants did not concede to the amendments.
Yohannes said that the amendment does not make any difference. “What we are demanding now is that the corporation should make a new study. It should participate professionals representing the tenants and all other relevant stakeholders in undertaking the study,” he said.
The Federal Housing Corporation on its part stated that it did not make any tariff adjustment for the past many years adding that its tariff rate is not compatible with the market price. The corporation argued that its tariff rate is not in par with the market price. “Since there is a huge difference with the privately owned buildings tariff rate it has created a market imbalance among the business communities,” the corporation said. “Still what the private sector offers is much higher than our rate,” it added.
According to Yohannes, the tenant’s association has appealed to the Office of the Prime Minister and board chairperson of the Federal Housing Corporation, Demitu Hambissa.