Addressing the housing backlog

Over 1 500 houses are set to be built in the Matutura and DRC extensions.

11 August 2019 | Local News

Hafeni Ndemula; Chairperson of ERC; “We have a huge challenge in the housing sector, specifically affordable housing.”

Swakopmund – Adolf Kaure

The municipality of Swakopmund and Power-Oyeno Namibia hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on the 40/40 housing initiative at Matutura Extension 6.

As the shortage of housing continues to be one of the most burning issues in Swakopmund, the municipality identified this challenge as a priority area and initiated a partnership with various contractors during 2018.

The main goal of this programme is to ensure the construction of 1 593 low cost and credit linked housing units at the Matutura and DRC extensions in Swakopmund.

Six hundred and thirty seven of the houses to be constructed fall under the credit linked category while 956 will be social grant houses.

The municipality subsequently entered into development agreements with local contractors. This will result in the construction of 40 houses per contractor of which 16 houses will be credit linked.

These houses will be constructed and funded by the contractors themselves. The cost will be reimbursed through a loan from local financial institutions obtained by qualifying beneficiaries.

The remaining 24 houses will be low cost houses funded by the municipality to accommodate the lower and ultra-low residents unable to obtain loans from financial institutions.

Power-Oyeno Namibia, one of the contractors, commenced with the construction of the first credit linked houses.

The chairperson of the Erongo regional council’s management committee, Hafeni Ndemula, said that the provision of affordable housing in Namibia has become a priority, especially in the Erongo region where there is increased inward migration.

“We have a huge challenge in the housing sector, specifically affordable housing. The critical issue is how to bring about significant increase and supply catering especially for the low income groups.”

Ndemula said access to residential land and housing remains one of the barriers to home ownership, not only in Swakopmund but in the whole of Namibia.

"Although council has made significant progress in terms of addressing the housing challenge and land provision, many residents find themselves in dilapidated informal shelters on the periphery of towns. It is therefore fundamental that council uses this opportunity to ensure through joined ventures that the needs of many residents to acquire affordable housing in Swakopmund are adequately met."

He also cautioned that contractors should not be allowed to compromise on quality when providing affordable housing.

"The houses should be of living standard. The service providers involved in the exercise must give due diligence to the specifications of the construction of the houses.”

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