Kuzeeko Tjitemisa Windhoek-The outgoing Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa, expressed her satisfaction on Tuesday, in Otjiwarongo in Otjozondjupa Region, with the work done by the Otjiwarongo Municipality in a bid to ease the chronic housing shortage. Shaningwa was speaking during the handing over of 40 new houses constructed through a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement. The municipality also announced during the handing over that a further 360 low and medium-income houses would be constructed at Freedom Park and Heroes Park. “The challenges of housing and urban land delivery are not insurmountable if we, the government, private and the community, pool our resources and efforts and pursue inclusive, equitable and innovative strategies, such as this PPP initiative,” said the newly elected Swapo secretary general. Shaningwa said housing development projects are important in that they do not only contribute to the realisation of the desired outcomes as outlined in the social progression pillar of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), but also have other positive multiplier effects such as job creation during the construction period, as well as improved sanitation and security of tenure. “Our housing delivery strategy will only serve its purpose if it provides affordable housing to the needy, especially the ultra-low, low and middle- income groups,” added Shaningwa. She said that affordable housing has become a key issue especially in developing nations, including Namibia, where the majority of the population is not able to buy houses at market prices. “Affordable housing refers to the provision of housing units that are priced in the manner that will allow the target beneficiaries, that is the lower and middle-income earners, also to be able to afford other basic living costs such as food, clothing, transport, education and medical care,” she said. Shaningwa said it is pleasing to note that the Otjiwarongo Municipality and its partners are adhering to her call for the houses that are being constructed under this PPP initiative to be affordable. “I am informed that the houses that have been constructed are priced at not more than N$500,000 and the basic price for a house without extras is capped between N$290,000 and N$409,000 per house,” she said. “This is commendable indeed!” “I am very delighted with this prompt delivery of houses to the needy instead of having houses stand idle and exposed to risks such as vandalism. I wish to commend the developers and the municipality for the partnership and for the expeditious manner in which they delivered the work in this first phase of the project,” Shaningwa told the gathering. She said the government, through national development roadmaps such as Vision 2030, the National Development Plans and the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), has identified and has been investing in housing and land delivery “as two of our critical national development priorities and important vehicles for addressing poverty and inequality, and for sustaining social harmony, democracy and political stability”. She concluded by commending the Otjiwarongo Municipality and its private sector partners for initiating the housing development project in the needy townships of Freedom Park and Heroes Park. The houses that have so far been completed will be handed to the owners today. She urged the municipality to expedite completion of the next batch of houses. The municipality said it has partnered with eight private property developers, namely Pena Trading; New Era JV Supeco Trading; Danny’s Building Construction; Potenza; Oluzizi; Asla Construction; Tulaing Properties and Fundamental Trading Enterprises.
2018-01-18 09:14:08 8 months ago