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A peep into NHE mass housing finances

2015-02-16  Mathias Haufiku

A peep into NHE mass housing finances
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By Mathias Haufiku WINDHOEK – The National Housing Enterprise (NHE) has thus far only paid N$435.1 million for the construction of houses under the Mass Housing Programme in the country, and had a payable bill of N$594.7 million as of December 31, 2014, with an additional N$159.6 million still pending for payment. The total number of houses constructed to date stands at 1 214, although there were 3 345 houses still under construction by December, out of the total 10 043 houses planned to be constructed in the first phase of the Mass Housing Programme. The figures are contained in a submission of NHE’s update to government seen by New Era. In this report, NHE also outlined the shortfall in the money paid by the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development and the actual amount that NHE paid contractors in the months between March and December 2014. The monthly difference is more than 50 percent and in some cases goes higher, with NHE paying the 70 percent difference in monthly bills. The difference gives an outstanding bill of N$49.7 million that is yet to be paid to contractors for servicing land. In the report, NHE wants the line ministry to “direct local authorities to engage NHE in order to contract the already pre-qualified companies to immediately proceed with land servicing in targeted localities by using the money that was already transferred to them by the Government last year. This action is critical, as it will allow completed houses to be connected to municipal services”. “Modalities should be put in place to ensure that houses administered by local authorities continue to belong to the Government and as such money so collected must go to government owned revolving funds and accounts,” NHE says in the report. The national housing company says it has now received feedback from government on how to proceed with the sourcing of funds and would “engage the suggested institutions and work on a new funding proposal”. Towards the end of last year, NHE submitted a borrowing proposal amounting to N$2 billion to the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, and forwarded the same proposal to the Ministry of Finance consisting of the proposed term sheet, business plan and financial projections. In the documents, NHE also says it has so far spent an average N$5 600 per square metre on the construction of houses. “The planned budget for the ongoing houses (excluding Grootfontein and the informal upgrading in Okahandja, Windhoek and Gobabis), was N$3.195 billion and the amount of money paid to date for the construction of houses is N$435.1 million,” the report says.
2015-02-16  Mathias Haufiku

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