Housing Demand Outstrips Supply At the Coast

SWAKOPMUND and Walvis Bay have about 15 000 people on their waiting lists for affordable houses, while the NHE only has 5 150 houses planned for construction through the mass housing programme over the next 18 months – being the first phase of the national initiative launched at the beginning of this year.

This means about 9 850 of these people will wait for the second phase to be launched after 2015 when the first phase is completed.

Most of the houses planned for the towns in the first phase are for the applicants from Swakopmund’s DRC informal settlement – which will see the construction of 3 554 houses.

During a feedback meeting with the media last week, NHE Erongo branch manager, Karl Schroeder, said that NHE was given the mandate to build 185 000 houses (of a variety of designs and cost categories) nationally by 2030. During the first phase of the programme (ending 2015), 8 850 houses are planned nationally, and 10 200 plots serviced during that period.

The bulk for the first phase houses were allocated to the Erongo region, which will get 5 250 units with Walvis Bay getting 1595 units, Swakopmund (3554), Henties Bay (80) and Outjo, which will fall under Erongo (20). Omaruru, Karibib and Usakos will also eventually get houses under the programme.

The biggest contractor for the first phase in Erongo is Power Onyeno with 2 054 houses for Swakopmund.

Schroeder explained that people on the waiting lists for the Build Together Programme will be included in the NHE waiting list under the mass housing scheme.

Concerning the developments at the DRC and concerns by residents that they would be forced out and their erven grabbed from them, Schroeder assured legal DRC residents they have nothing to fear.

He said the situation at the DRC involved people that are residing there, and already have erven from the municipality.

“We will assist these people to move their shacks and corrugated houses to a certain area that has been allocated to them and then start building on the land that they own. Once the houses have been completed, they will then be able to go back,” he explained.

“Then there are pieces of land currently being serviced but are still vacant. The allocation of those houses will be for those on the waiting list.”

In a bid to make houses affordable to the majority, Schroeder said NHE will have the cost of the houses subsidied, and said there are apparently “aanced negotiations” with government as to the formula for the subsidies.

“This will guarantee that people who cannot afford houses, will be able to buy subsidised houses,” said Schroeder.

A stakeholders’ meeting is planned for July by invitation of Erongo governor Cleophas Mutjavikua, and the Ministry of Regional and Local Government and Housing and Rural Development will also appoint technical experts to provide aisory services and support the programme.

The first phase nationally will cost Government about N$2,7 billion and about N$45 billion till 2030.

Source : The Namibian