By BEREKET DEREJE MAY 12, 2015
New applicants for the Diaspora Housing Program are now welcome to register at most Ethiopian embassies, Gizeyat has learned.
In the US and Canada, registration at the embassies began in late April. The embassy in the UK also announced registrations will commence on May 18th, following a briefing it held with community members from the London Metropolitan area last Saturday.
According to a memo the embassies received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the regional states of Amhara, Gambella, Oromia, Harari, Somali, Southern Peoples, Tigray, and the Dire Dawa City Administration have finalized their housing program directives and are ready to accept registrations.
Applicants can register individually or in associations of a minimum of 12 members for townhouses or apartments. According to the directives of most regional states, associations qualify for registration upon settlement of 50% of the construction cost except for Tigray region which stipulates full payment.
The least expensive apartments are offered in Amhara, Gambella, Harari, Somali, and Tigray regions that come in two bedrooms of 74 sq. m for ETB 424,390 (USD 20,668), following the 80 sq.m two-bedroom apartments in Oromia that go for ETB 400,000 (USD 19,480). The most expensive apartment in most of these regions costs ETB 779,960 (USD 37,984) for a four-bedroom unit on 136 sq. m.
Oromia region offers one of the cheapest townhouses, ETB 800,000 (USD 38,960) for a two-story house that rests on 120 sq.m. While, a 114 sq.m. three-bedroom townhouses in Amhara, Harari, Gambella, and Somali regions are offered for ETB 693,120 (USD 33,755). The highest-priced is a 243 sq.m seven-bedroom townhouse in Harari region, whose design incorporates the region’s culture and costs ETB 1,505,104 (USD 73,300).
The design of the houses can, as per the housing directives, either follow each region’s standard blueprint or use custom designs with the approval of the respective regional administrations. The construction of houses will be undertaken by the regional states’ housing development enterprises, except the Amhara, Oromia and Tigray regions, which have the option for associations to hire qualified private contractors.
The housing scheme, which was in motion since mid-last year, is open for Ethiopians overseas as well as for foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin who meet a set of qualifications.