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NHE houses ‘60% cheaper’

2021-10-19  Maihapa Ndjavera

NHE houses ‘60% cheaper’
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OKAKARARA - The National Housing Enterprises says its houses are 60% cheaper than the private sector, however, affordability is still a challenge because of exorbitant land prices. 

NHE spokesperson Eric Libongani stated these remarks yesterday during the handover of 40 houses constructed by the state-owned entity in Okakarara, through a public-private partnership agreement.

Libongani also pleaded with local authorities to make serviced land available at more affordable rates.

“Our interaction with local authorities is advancing well. NHE has received land from some local authorities without paying a cent. We have acquired about 547 plots in Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi region. We are looking for more collaborations with local authorities as they will benefit more in the long run in the form of tax, rates and improvements in livelihoods,” he said.

Low-income earners continue to experience difficulties in accessing loans from financial institutions because of a lack of collateral and low-income base, thus being marginalised in terms of access to affordable and decent housing.

At the same occasion, deputy minister of urban and rural development, Nathalia /Goagoses said Namibia’s economy is amongst the hardest hit and the state budget was redirected towards the Covid-19 response and despite the loss of income, inflation rates have been on an upward trajectory. 

According to her, there has been a decline in the demand for housing, owing to loss of income by the citizenry, who lost income due to retrenchment or business closure. 

“These unprecedented cause and effect scenario, has only worsened our situation in housing delivery, the funds that could have been used for servicing land has been redirected into saving lives, the businesses in the housing development industry, could not purchase serviced land, leaving those who demanded houses in an unending dilemma,” stated
/Goagoses.

She said Namibia is deliberate in housing delivery and government’s aim is to strategically position housing to play an important and meaningful role in the implementation and realisation of Namibia’s Vision 2030. She added that NHE is far from reaching the targeted houses for the year 2030, and asked for better strategies to speed up the construction. 

“The establishment of NHE is to reduce the housing backlog, which was at over 100 000 units, and through NHE, we have set ourselves a target to build 47 622 houses by the year 2030. The NHE strategic plan is ending 2022/23, by then, leaving us with seven years to 2030,” she noted.

Next week, NHE will hand over 72 houses in Karibib, and the following month over 77 houses in Keetmanshoop.

/Goagoses emphasised that NHE can only carry out these initiatives when affordable land is made available: 

“I call on all sub-national structures to engage NHE on finding the best solution when selling land. The NHE should not be treated as a developer in a housing market for profit, but as a strategic partner assisting government in constructing affordable housing for the low income group,” she said.

Chairperson of the Otjozondjupa Regional Council Marlene Mbakera noted the governor embarked on a vigorous accelerated land delivery programme in all local authorities in the region, and they plan to make about 6 039 plots available.

Representing beneficiaries, Jessica Nandova said 2021 is her blessing year despite the lingering pandemic. According to her, she will never forget NHE and financial service providers for making her dream come true. 

– mndjavera@nepc.com.na


2021-10-19  Maihapa Ndjavera

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