The Namibia Housing Enterprise (NHE) has put the construction of 366 houses in Walvis Bay on hold and availed the land to the council for the decongestion of the Twaloloka informal settlement. Nicolas Hibbert, senior manager of technical services and property management at NHE confirmed the development this week.
Hibbert said the decision stems from corporation between NHE, Ministry of Urban and Rural Development (MURD), and the Regional Council. He said this at the Covid-19 communication centre when addressing the acceleration of affordable housing delivery during the pandemic.
Chaos ensued last month in the Twaloloka informal settlement of Walvis Bay following a devastating fire that destroyed several shacks. About 400 people were left destitute at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic was ravaging the town.
NHE received both social and the credit-linked houses from MURD.
According to Hibbert, they received a total of 1711 social houses, of which 1 554 have been allocated and 1 460 have been handed over thus far.
The handing over ratio of social houses stands at 94%. Hibbert added that they received 1 868 credit-linked houses and so far allocated 1 457 houses. This brings the ratio of the credit-linked houses handed over to 99%.
On modalities used to identify beneficiaries, he said a list was compiled, combining NHE’s and the local authority’s waiting lists. He clarified that MURD only hands over complete houses to NHE for sale and distribution.
“People were contacted on the first come first serve basis. In other words, people who were on the waiting lists for long were the first to buy and be allocated houses,” explained Hibbert.
At the same occasion, the Shack Dwellers Federation regional facilitator Inga Boye said the Federation has distributed several hand sanitiser dispensers that were donated by Standard Bank and Elso Holdings to the informal community residents since March as part of their aim to improve livelihoods of the poor in the country.
She said the Federation is continuing with the construction of houses amid the pandemic.
“We did not stop with the construction of houses because we know that through construction, our members will have shelter, thus improving their living standards.
We surveyed our members and the community to see the impact of Covid-19 on their livelihoods and to upgrade the informal settlements,” stated Boye.
On revealing some of her figures, she said the Federation received N$5 million from MURD to provide essential services to the informal community. About 700 plots at Karibib will be serviced.