Condo Conundrum

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Other condos in holding pattern

The Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) has come out against the latest condo transfer. Last Wednesday the city administration transferred thousands of condos, primarily on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, through a lottery draw carried out at InterContinental Addis Hotel.
ODP said there is not a clear boundary between Addis Ababa and Oromia so transferring the houses at this stage is unjust.
“We are not against the people’s freedom to live where they want but our people should benefit from their own land. Some of the condos are built in the Oromia region so we are working on this issue and at the same time we firmly oppose the transfer until things are solved,’’ said in a statement.
After ODP’s statement there was strong reaction on social media from residents in Addis Ababa. Some posts read that the ODP statement went against people’s freedom to live in their own country.
Others agreed with ODP, saying that building condos without the approval of Oromia state on Oromia land is unacceptable and the condo construction displaced many farmers who were not fairly compensated.
Addis Ababa’s Deputy Mayor, Takele Uma, decided to transfer some condos to farmers and their children whose land was appropriated for development. The mayor also unveiled a plan to tailor housing developments to farming communities.
The decision to offer 50 percent of completed condominiums to farming communities, in exchange for giving up land to development, pushing aside residents of Addis Ababa who have been on a waiting list for well over a decade, has caused frustration among residents.
The current transfer was for people who registered to purchase the government-subsidized condominium houses under a 20/80 plan. This means they had at least contributed 20% of the total cost of the house in a blocked account. People also could qualify under a 40/60 program by saving at least 40% of the total cost. Names were then drawn in a lottery.
In related news, sources at the Addis Ababa Saving House Development Enterprise told Capital that over 2,000 condo houses, of the 40/60 scheme had not been transferred, even though they are almost in equal status with the condos that had already been transferred.
“They could transfer the condos, I don’t know why they are holding them,” a source said.
Capital’s attempt to get answers from the city about the case was not fruitful.
Since the government introduced the national condominium housing program in 2005, the Addis Ababa City Administration has transferred 175,000 condominium houses to residents.

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