Vice President Nangolo Mbumba has called for the fast housing distribution, saying citizens were justified in their calls to have a place to call home.
Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony towards the construction of 1 200 low-cost houses in Windhoek, the vice president also expects the initiative to be rolled out to other regions and local authorities once the pilot project is successfully implemented in Windhoek.
Mbumba, quoting President Hage Geingob, said the informal settlements undermine the dignity of fellow Namibians and should be eradicated, as the situation in these areas is a humanitarian crisis.
Mbumba said the initiative would target residents of informal settlements who have title deeds, those who have deeds of sales with respect to the land on which they reside and those who have already commenced with settling payments for their erven.
“I am also informed that the municipality of Windhoek is already in the process of registering residents who do not have title deeds and issuing those registered with certificates of occupation that will eventually lead to ownership of the land on which they are residing,” remarked Mbumba.
The urban and rural development ministry, in collaboration with the Khomas Regional Council and the National Housing Enterprise, unveiled the project recently.
The project aims to construct houses over a two-phase period.
The first phase of the project is expected to deliver 200 houses by November and another 400 would be completed by 30 June next year.
The houses are specifically priced for persons earning over N$3 000 per month with a repayment amount of between N$682 and N$1 223 for 25 years.
The project will cover the following informal settlements, Havana Proper, Onyika no.2, Goreangab Extension 4, Greenwell Matongo D, Otjomuise Extension 8 and 9 and Freedom Land A and B. “Proper shelter and good living conditions have material influence on the health and productivity of people, as employees and as human beings,” said Mbumba.
City of Windhoek section engineer: project management Samuel Haraseb said the current housing backlog in Windhoek stands around 84 000, comprising of 7 600 informal settlement leaseholds and 48 233 informal numbered structures. In addition, there are 27 330 people on the waiting list. Minister of Urban and Rural Development Erastus Uutoni said the project is targeting low-income earners.
“Thus, the extent to which upgrading projects reaches the informal areas and what the long-term impacts are on the living conditions of the residents are some of the important ramifications,” stated Uutoni.
Khomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua said the initiative might look small, little and insignificant but it is their wish that it will be a well-placed step in the right direction.