Namibia: Govt to Construct 1 200 Low-Cost Houses

Government has decided to construct 1 200 affordable homes, starting Thursday this week.

The properties worth a collective N$65 million will be for informal settlers in Windhoek, to help curb the mushrooming of shacks within the city. This ambitious project was announced by urban development minister Erastus Uutoni yesterday, who said urban development partnered with the Khomas Regional Council and the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) to construct low income, ultra-low and ultra-ultra- low income-centric houses for residents of Havana, Onyika Number 2, Goreangab Extension 4, Greenwell Matongo-D, Otjomuise Extension 8, 9 and Freedom Land A-B.

Addressing the media, Uutoni said the houses to be constructed in two phases include basic shelter of 22 square metres for N$91 000, a core one bedroom, 32-square metres for N$104 000 and core two bedrooms, 45 square metres to cost N$170 000 all-inclusive of land, labour and the housing structure.

"They will first be rolled out on a pilot mode and phase one is expected to deliver a total of 200 houses by November and another 400 houses will be completed by 30 June next year," stated the urban development minister.

The project is only aimed at those residing in informal settlements, who possess title deeds and have already commenced paying for their erven.

"For those who do not have title deeds, the municipality is also busy registering those in the approved settlements to be issued with certificates of occupation that will eventually lead to ownership," he said.

Uutoni said phase two would commence immediately after phase one and is expected to yield 600 houses.

The minister said what is key to mention at this moment is that these houses will be affordable to ultra-ultra-low income residents earning just over N$3000 per-month, with repayment amounts of between N$682 and N$1 223 over a period of 25 years.

"At this point, it is of utmost importance to keep the selling prices of these houses down, to enable the poorest of the poor to afford them," Uutoni said, adding that for this to be achieved, the ministry will among others purchase materials from suppliers on a reduced but fixed prices.

"We will be using vocational training youth graduates and other artisans. We will also be using small contractors who prefer sharing our ambition to changing the landscape in the informal settlements above profit," he said.

Also, Uutoni stated the ministry has decided that each small-scale contractor to be used will be allocated a maximum of 10 houses and only upon satisfactory completion of the 10 houses will the same contractor be allocated their next 10 to construct.

ktjitemisa@nepc.com.na

Caption (Government Housing): Housing for the poor... Government intends constructing 1 200 for informal settlers in Windhoek.

Photo: Nampa

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