Housing initiative to help need

03 July 2020 | Local News

Windhoek • [email protected]
“The lives of those living in the informal settlements in Namibia are characterized daily by what
seems to be a persuasive idea that they are forgotten.”
That was the message by the Minister of Urban and Rural Development Erastus Uutoni at the launch
and ground breaking of the affordable housing initiative for ultra-low income earners in Havana,
Windhoek. “The future of these residents and their beloved families is further dealt a terrible blow
by a combination of factors, the least of which is a lack of land tenure security and exorbitant house
prices,” he said.
According to Vice President Dr Nangolo Mbumba, the project is aimed at assisting residents who live
in informal settlements are who are without proper shelter. “Access to land, basic municipal services
and housing continue to be among the priorities in our national development policies and
strategies,” he said, adding that this project will see 1 200 homes being built over a two-phase
period.
But not all residents are excited. One woman, who wishes to rename anonymous, says that although
the initiative sounds promising, a lot of hopefuls will not benefit from it. “The need is bigger than
helping 1 200. It’s a start, but it is not enough,” she said.
The initiative is a joint effort between the Khomas Regional Council, the Municipality of Windhoek,
the National Housing Enterprises and the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development to transform the
informal settlements in Namibia through formalization, upgrade and the provision of homes for
ultra-low income residents.
According to Uutoni, they have identified three affordable products that are: basic shelter; one and
two bedroom houses; and finally also on land ownership. “It is not just the urban poor that live in
informal settlements, but also modest and middle-income households that are unable to access
affordable housing,” he said, adding that through this project they are targeting those who have low
income jobs. The extent to which upgrading projects reaches the informal areas and what the long-
term impacts are on the living conditions of the residents are some of the important ramifications.
“I appeal to all corporate entities, organizations and individuals to join us on this journey and change
the landscape of all informal settlements in Namibia for the better. This project will also concentrate
on the accord job opportunities for our vocational graduates,” Uutoni said.
A basic shelter of 22m² will cost N$91 264, while a 32m² one-bedroom house will be N$103 753. The
45 m² two-bedroom house will cost N$166 960.
The project covers Havana Proper, Onyika Number 2, Goreangab ext. 4, Greenwell Matongo D,
Otjomuise ext. 8 and 9, and Freedom Land A and B.
The houses are priced for persons earning just above N$3 000 per month with a repayment amount
of between N$682 and N$1 223 over 25 years.