Not enough serviced land for mass housing: Hailulu

WINDHOEK: There is not enough serviced land in Namibia to continue with the Mass Housing Development Programme, according to the Chief Executive Officer of the National Housing Enterprise (NHE), Vinson Hailulu.

He raised the concern in Windhoek on Tuesday during the national workshop taking place under the theme ‘Building a Green Namibia’.

Construction industry players are gathering over the next two days to discuss ways on how to use natural resources more efficiently to create healthier and more energy-efficient buildings and homes.

“We do not have enough serviced land in all towns as planned for the current and next phase. There is limited investment in municipal infrastructure that causes the shortage of serviced land. Legislative, policy and regulatory constraints result in slow land delivery,” he bemoaned.

Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba launched the mass housing programme in November 2013.

The number of plots to be serviced in the first two years is 6 457 while 10 058 housing units need to be built in the first two years of the programme, Hailulu said.

Several houses in the towns of Swakopmund, Mariental and Oshakati built under the project have been handed over to the recipients of the programme since last year.

The NHE chief said the cost for servicing land per plot is about N.dollars 75 000 while the construction cost of a house is about N.dollars 280 000. A total of 185 000 houses need to be built with the total investment of N.dollars 45 billion during the next 16 years in line with Vision 2030.

About N.dollars 2.5 billion in investments is needed per annum for the programme.

This programme will be implemented in two phases. Phase one will be implemented over two financial years from 2014/2015 to 2015/2016, ending 31 March 2016.

The pilot project targeted the regional capitals of Namibia’s 14 regions and selected towns with sufficient serviced plots to meet the target of approximately 10 000 plots. In total, 27 local authorities will benefit from phase one.

Phase two will be implemented over the remaining 14 years starting from financial year 2016/2017 to 2029/2030. During this phase, the programme will be rolled out to all towns and villages in all 14 regions of Namibia.

About job creation, Hailulu boasted that the programme has created over 4 888 jobs so far, countrywide.

“The overall development impact of the project on job creation and overall economic growth is undoubtedly huge,” he added.

In Swakopmund in the Erongo Region alone, Power-Oyeno Construction Company is spending over N.dollars 10 million on material supply and labour.

The project in the coastal town has helped the residents of the DRC informal settlement to establish a construction company that is involved in the execution of the project.

The Swakopmund project is just one of 23 projects that are being managed by NHE concurrently throughout the country as part of phase-one.