Nuusita Ashipala Oshakati-Mass housing units are standing empty because there are no customers to take them up, while some of the units are constructed in areas where commercial banks do not extend mortgages. Sophia Shaningwa, who is the Minister of Urban and Rural Development and Secretary General of Swapo, made these revelations at a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of 200 houses in Oshakati last week Thursday. “Today, as I am speaking, I am still stuck with houses that I cannot get customers for. I want those houses gone as in yesterday already, but if there are no customers there is nothing that I can do,” said Shaningwa. The National Housing Enterprise (NHE) will construct the 200 houses with private contractors through a private-public partnership. The minister asked contractors to construct affordable houses that would cost at least N$500,000 per unit. She said that with the current economic downturn, contractors should be mindful that people do not have money and urged them to construct houses that are affordable to the market the houses are aimed at. “That is where our market is. And we are not going to fool ourselves that our market is of people with [the ability to spend] over N$500,000 to millions [on a house]. The people simply don’t have money,” said Shaningwa. The minister cautioned the NHE to do comprehensive market research and ensure that there are customers for the houses constructed. The minister also urged the banks to ensure the money injected into them works to the benefit of low-income earners as well. She said banks should ensure that low-income earners also qualify for mortgages. Speaking at the same function, the Governor of Oshana Region Clemens Kashuupulwa said the move to construct houses in the region comes at the right time as Oshakati is in a dire need of houses. Kashuupulwa appealed to the Oshakati Town Council to avail more serviced land to the NHE for the construction of more houses to ensure everyone has access to decent housing.
New Era Reporter
2018-01-29 09:11:28 9 months ago