Nuusita Ashipala OSHAKATI – The National Housing Enterprise (NHE) has already started allocating houses under construction to prospective owners to ensure that all houses are occupied immediately after completion. This is a deviation from the model that was used to construct houses under the mass housing programme, whereby houses are constructed for ‘ghost owners’ resulting in the houses being unoccupied for months and even years, confirmed the manager for corporate communications and marketing at NHE, Eric Libongani. Libongani says NHE opted for this new model, through which the occupants of the house start paying the mortgage immediately after occupying the house. The advantage of this new system is that new homeowners would not experience delays with the bond registration, which often sees new owners paying rental fees in the months that they are occupying the house without the bond in their name. “The challenge is that if the bond (mortgage) is not registered, ownership of the house remains with NHE. The rental fee unfortunately does not contribute to the prospective owner’s bond because they are exposed to the lease and not the bond,” Libongani explained. Some homeowners at Ehenye in Oshakati were until this year subjected to pay rental fees for houses they have occupied for up to a year. The houses, although constructed by NHE, were built under the mass housing programme. Libongani was speaking at a progress site visit at Ekuku in Oshakati where the housing enterprise is constructing 200 houses through the Request for Proposal model. The model allows the housing enterprise to partner with private investors with readily available money and skills to fast-track housing provision. The 200 houses are being constructed jointly by Top International and Ellimite Investment for a period of 12 months. The houses will be constructed at a cost of N$68 million. According to Libongani, the 41 units of the 200 houses are at the roofing level while 59 houses are at the window level. The rest of the houses are between window level and roofing. In Okahao all 50 houses are at floor level. Libongani said the provision of housing is moving at a snail’s pace as a result of a lack of available planned and serviced land, which is exacerbated by the bureaucracy of acquiring land. “And while at that stage the waiting list keeps growing because the demand for housing does not wait for the bureaucracy to be solved,” Libongani said. In addition the housing enterprise competes for land acquisition with the private sector, derailing the process further. Currently, Oshakati, Rundu, Okahao and Omuthiya have a combined waiting list of more than 12,000 applicants with Rundu topping the list with over 5,000 applicants and Oshakati with 4,862. Omuthiya has 1,418 people on the waiting list while Okahao has 991. With that being the case, Libongani assured that the housing enterprise will continue to provide affordable houses with the smallest unit currently sold at about N$300,000 – for a two-bedroom house.
New Era Reporter
2018-06-05 09:24:47 8 months ago