• April 6th, 2020

NHE to upgrade informal settlement housing

WINDHOEK - The National Housing Enterprise (NHE) has embarked on a pilot project to upgrade informal settlement housing by building eight houses for people who have land ownership but still live in shacks. 
The eight houses will be built in Goreangab and Otjomuise.  

The houses will have two and three bedrooms and will cost NHE N$4 million. 
Construction is set to start in January 2020 and is expected to take four months.

NHE acting CEO Nick Hibbert said land acquisition remains their toughest challenge and it is more prevalent in the localities where they have high demand of people who can afford NHE houses. 
Hibbert said they undertook to do this project in the informal settlements having looked at the increasing need for affordable housing especially in the informal settlements and previously disadvantaged suburbs. 
He said the concept was 

discussed and analysed in January 2019, taking into consideration several important factors such as clients’ affordability, land ownership and municipal arrears.
He stated adverts were placed in the media, calling interested residents to register between 16 April 2019 and 10 May 2019. 

“We have then done preliminary evaluations, through which qualifying applicants were identified. NHE has undertaken to relax and waive some of its normal qualifying criteria such as collateral/deposit, income thresholds, as well as absorbing reasonable municipal arrears into the financing facility, in order to enable applicants to qualify,” he stated.

Hibbert said the contracts were awarded to two contractors and each will build four houses. 
Hibbert said upon full implementation of the pilot project, NHE will do an analysis of the concept to determine how best it can be improved. He stated they hope to roll out the concept to other part of the city and other towns throughout the country.

Nangula Imene, a beneficiary for this project in Otjomuise told the media that she is excited that she is getting a brick house, as it is not easy living in a shack. 

She was speaking at the official handover of the project’s site held in Otjomuise.
“Dust, snakes and everything come in the shack. It is not safe living in a shack. I am happy NHE is providing a house for us,” said Imene who said she applied for land in 2002 and her application was only approved by the City of Windhoek in 2012.

 Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Peya Mushelenga said the size and number of informal settlements around the country is undeniably on a rapid increase. 

Mushelenga said the situation is surely extreme in Windhoek, due to it being the capital city and major attraction for people seeking enhanced opportunities to improve their lives. 

“We cannot shy away from this fact and need to face the challenge head on. It is us, together with relevant stakeholders, who have the responsibility to find solutions to the housing needs facing our people. We know the key expectations of our people in informal settlements, which is decent shelter with access to basic services,” stated the housing and rural development minister.

City of Windhoek mayor 
Muesee Kazapua said they realized that as a country, no entity can address the housing problem in Namibia alone.  

Kazapua said it is pleasing to see that the provision of housing to the residents in the informal settlements of the city is gaining the attention it deserves. He said informal settlements are expanding on daily basis with thousands of people unable to secure decent shelters. “With the rapid growth of informal settlements, the City is faced with a challenge that requires all stakeholders to get involved 
and address issues affecting our people in these parts of the city,” said Kazapua adding this pilot project could not have come at the right time albeit on a small-scale.

Selma Ikela
2019-12-05 07:47:03 | 4 months ago

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