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Hailulu explains why govt should not provide free housing

2014-12-05  Mathias Haufiku

Hailulu explains why govt should not provide free housing
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WINDHOEK - National Housing Enterprise (NHE) Chief Executive Officer Vinson Hailulu says no free houses should be provided in the country because beneficiaries might not value and take ownership of the houses in the same manner they would care for properties they have to pay for. Because of the abundance of untapped mineral resources in the country, Namibians have over the years called on government to consider providing free public housing to its citizens with the revenue generated from the country’s abundant minerals. “As a country we have made it a point to say no free housing, yes government will subsidise some houses depending on the level of income that those qualifying are at, but no free housing, there will be a portion the household will be responsible to pay for in the form of credit facilities they will get either from NHE that also gives mortgages, or commercial banks,” Hailulu said during a television interview conducted by the Concrete TV team at the African Union for Housing Finance annual conference held in South Africa last month. “This brings in the element of responsibility and ownership on the part of beneficiaries. If people get free housing they might not value or take ownership required – but when they are part and parcel of the arrangement they become quality assuring agents themselves,” Hailulu said. Government plans to build 185 000 low-cost houses by 2030 through the N$45 billion mass housing development programme currently ongoing in 27 local authorities across the country. Hailulu said the project is going well. “The timeline is tight but achievable because we have contractors who have capacity to deliver the project in the given timeframe. There are some South African companies supplementing the local ones, and with that capacity we should be able to attain the goals of building houses and service plots to go hand in hand with that,” he said. NHE awarded two-year tenders for the construction of 10 137 houses countrywide to 25 companies for N$2.9 billion. The programme has been plagued by concerns especially regarding the price of the houses, awarding of tenders, quality of houses as well as reluctance on the part of local authorities to sell at below market rates land on which mass houses would be built. By Mathias Haufiku
2014-12-05  Mathias Haufiku

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