Bukalo — Twenty-nine of the 86 houses built under the government's mass housing initiative at Bukalo were handed over to their new owners by Urban and Rural Development Minister Sophia Shaningwa on Sunday.
Situated some 40 km east of Katima Mulilo, Bukalo is one of the few village councils in the country to have benefitted from the mass housing initiative. Speaking at the handover ceremony Shaningwa emphasised that the government was committed to ensuring that the housing backlog is addressed.
She said the main aim was not only to construct houses, but to ensure that those houses are affordable. She pointed out that government had reduced the prices by up to 75 percent in order to accommodate low-income households and persons that have a monthly income as low as N$3,724.
"A person who earns a salary of N$3,724.59 per month will be able to afford a Core 5 type of social house, whose sale price has been reduced to N$90,000 below the construction cost of N$352,174 and representing a subsidy of 75 percent. A beneficiary in this case will pay a monthly instalment of N$825.24," she said.
Shaningwa called on the beneficiaries to honour their home loan payment obligations to government and to the banks to ensure that the money that they are paying can be used to finance and build houses for other needy Namibians.
"I congratulate you, but also urge you to take good care of the houses, keep them clean and use them to bring positive changes in your lives and the lives of your families," she said.
Upon receiving the houses, the beneficiaries could not hide their excitement.
"I stand here on behalf of the beneficiaries in Bukalo to thank the minister for giving us a place to call home... To our leaders, please don't stop here, but keep giving affordable accommodation to the low-income groups of our society as we move towards Vision 2030," said Patricia Kamwi, one of the beneficiaries.