Eveline de Klerk Swakopmund-Government will subsidise 65 percent of all two-bedroom houses constructed under the mass housing programme, with the houses previously priced at N$200,000 to go for as little as N$70,000. The houses, referred to as D1 category houses, were constructed by the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) under the mass housing programme to cater for ultra-low income earners – people that earn less than N$3,000 – and will now be offered at a low instalment repayment of N$550 monthly. The announcement was made on Friday in Swakopmund by outgoing Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa, during the handover of 400 houses to beneficiaries at the town. Shaningwa revealed that Cabinet earlier made the decision to reduce the house prices to make them affordable for low-income earners, instead of the houses turning into white elephants. She said the houses were constructed “way too expensive” for the targeted group, adding that now the government needs to compromise so that the target group can be offered the houses at an affordable price. “If we did not take the decision, we would miss the aim of the project and would also lost out much more,” Shaningwa said. The minister lashed out at NHE for constructing the costly houses while knowing that they were meant for the ultra-low income group. The minister explained that the D1 category houses were initially sold for about N$200,000 to recover the construction cost but this could not be afforded by those earning less than N$3,000 monthly. The houses are now offered for sale at N$70,000. “Cabinet decided that despite the government losing, we had to lower the cost price of the houses. The beneficiaries can now expect to pay a monthly instalment of N$550, to NHE, excluding basic services,” the minister said. Shaningwa urged NHE to avoid making such costly errors while executing the government’s mandate, as the government is at the receiving end for selling the houses for less than their worth. “Government paid a lot of money for these houses yet we have to sell them at the lowest price, because some people did not do their job right,” she said.
2018-02-05 08:52:36 7 months ago