Rundu — It is only with sufficient public investment, to capitalise the National Housing Enterprise (NHE), can the state-owned residential property company be able to provide sufficient units for affordable housing.
"If we have a lot of public investments, in terms of capitalising NHE, giving us capital, prices will go down initially. We have left the housing industry to the market forces which are the private sector and developers," said NHE Corporate Communications and Marketing Manager Eric Libongani last week during a site tour at the ongoing NHE housing project in Rundu, were 123 houses are being constructed.
At the moment NHE currently has close to 90 000 people on its waiting list countrywide.
"Now because the housing demand is high, the private developers take advantage of that because it is a free market economy. More public investment in the housing sector will equalise the pricing as it will reduce the demand, and we would not need the rent control board that is being advocated," he said.
It has become difficult to acquire a house in Namibia as housing prices are a nightmare to citizens, especially those that earn low salaries, renting is also another costly step and thus many end up erecting shacks to provide shelter for their family.
Libongani says if Namibia is serious about making a change with regard to providing affordable housing to citizens, government must invest big in the local housing enterprises, through which many affordable houses will be constructed and that will also balance the housing industry, and in the end all houses will be affordable and rent prices will decline.