Namibia: N$4b Housing Investment Takes Off

The Ongos Valley N$4,3 billion housing project that plans to build more than 4 000 affordable houses within five years, was officially launched in Windhoek yesterday.

The project is a collaborative effort from various stakeholders, and will be funded by the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), Nedbank, Absa and Standard Bank.

The groundbreaking ceremony was officiated by vice president Nangolo Mbumba, in the presence of various stakeholders involved in Namibia's housing and land delivery market.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, the main financiers Nedbank Namibia's managing director, Lionel Matthews, said a mere promise has turned into reality.

"In the next five years, 4 500 families will have moved into their new homes, with another 25 000 homes which will blossom and come alive with excited new homeowners in the next two decades," he stated.

He explained that over the next 15 years, some N$4,3 billion will be invested right into the economy, with an estimation of creating over 10 000 jobs within the span of five years.

Matthews said given the current financial consolidation by the government and the economic headwinds being experienced, the planned project is a necessary investment.

Furthermore, the long and arduous hours the bank put in to compile financial documentation for approval at various hierarchical levels has enhanced its own in-house expertise exponentially, and they are certainly ready for another complex corporate financial transaction of any nature the future may serve up.

The Development Bank of Namibia's chief executive officer, Martin Inkumbi, indicated that it is their bank's priority to fund the servicing of land and the construction of affordable housing. He continued that the bank's participation in the project with other financiers is a milestone moment as it opens the door to solving a large part of Windhoek's housing needs.

"The Ongos Valley development, if diligently and successfully implemented, has the potential to transform the housing landscape of Khomas," Inkumbi stated.

He indicated that due to the large capital requirement, the bank has had to do a thorough assessment of the impact on the bank's future sustainability, as it requires an appropriate financing structure.

Inkumbi also assured the investors that as the project advances, the bank is not limited to the medium-term loan it has given to the project.

Ongos Valley will envisage being a self-sustaining residential and commercial centre for civil servants, young professionals and hardworking Namibians.

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