108 Swakop families get homes

Home National 108 Swakop families get homes

SWAKOPMUND – At least 108 families, who were either renting or living in backyard shacks, became homeowners on Friday when Urban and Rural Development Minister Erastus Uutoni handed over the homes. 

The recipients include members of the Namibian Police force and nurses in Swakopmund, who became first-time homeowners.

The 108 houses are part of the 319 houses which were to be constructed under the Mass Housing development programme. 

However, they could previously not be completed due to an ongoing legal battle between the initial contractor and his sub-contractors. 

The legal dispute caused a five-year delay in the completion of the houses. The government intervened last year, and handed over the construction site to New Era Investment in October 2022 for completion.

Speaking at the handover, Uutoni said this is yet another demonstration of the government’s continued efforts towards creating more opportunities for decent shelter for the people. 

“Housing remains one of our key development priorities, as clearly articulated in our national development frameworks. We need to pull together and move in the same direction to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and a coordinated impact for our people,” he noted.

He further highlighted the importance for the government to ensure that its approach and strategies are holistic and integrated, and that all housing development initiatives in the country are properly coordinated to achieve the desired impact. 

“It is critical that our housing delivery process is politically, economically, socially and fiscally sustainable. This requires a balance between end-user affordability, the standards and number of housing units required, as well as available resources and capacity,” the minister said.

Swakopmund mayor Dina Namubes expressed appreciation for the government’s efforts, stating that the completion of these houses is clearly making an impact on their housing backlog. 

“We appreciate all that was done to make this dream become a reality. It would be like tossing billions down the drain to abandon a project like this. We have people who can afford these properties, but our people are homeless. This project undoubtedly put people to work, and put food on many people’s tables in our community as well,” Namubes said.

Erongo governor Neville Andre stressed that although there is still a huge backlog of housing which needs to be addressed, the little steps of housing delivery by the government should be commended as they bring a huge relief to the backlog and liberation to the beneficiaries, who finally have a place to call home. 

“Swakopmund has a housing backlog of 20 000 units, and this type of initiative is a positive step in addressing this backlog. Apart from these 108 houses, the remaining 211 are at roof level, and the contractor is attending to the final finishes such as plumbing and electrical works,” he said.

– edeklerk@nepc.com.na

Caption: Forward… Urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni handed over 108 houses in Swakopmund on Friday.

Photo: Eveline de Klerk