Individual entrances, proper parking, paved driveways, manicured lawns and characteristic balconies in bespoke rainbow cashmere range of exterior paints is the perfect description for these Cohere apartment Buildings.
These are part of a residential construction project involving over 3.5 billion USD in total investment, completed in Angola.
However, this community that can house 500,000 people has been reduced to a “ghost town”.
According to some online articles on this project, there are 750 buildings of 8 floors each, with a dozen schools and space for over 100 stores and shops. Nonetheless, the actual residential area that hoped to target the middle class for the most part remains vacant.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC’s) report says that there are basically no cars or pedestrians… that the windows of apartments are closed… and the balconies remain empty.
My thoughts (laced with reviews floating online on the same)….
With President Jose Eduardo dos Santos having promised to construct 1 million homes for the ordinary common people of Angola in the 2008 elections, a low-middle cost residential construction project would’ve been the most ideal to fulfilling the president’s promise.
Already, the world assumes Angola to have a great majority of the population living in shacks, with no water and at an exorbitant cost where, statistically, a large fraction of Angolans still depend on less than 2 USD per day to survive.
The government therefore needed (needs) to have started giving priority to building low-middle cost housing especially that Angola doesn’t have a middle class but either a very poor or very rich people. Because, for many people, the selling prices of 120k to 200k USD in this community is simply preposterous. Even some of the highest white-collar workers couldn’t afford the down-payment alone.
I don’t fully understand the economics facet surrounding this phenomenon, of course, but to me, the design brief drawn up failed to meet the requirements of the proposed occupants, and in this case the middle class.