NHE to build houses for land owners in informal settlement

The National Housing Enterprise (NHE) has embarked on a pilot study to construct houses to qualified land owners living in the informal settlements.

Speaking at official site handover of eight houses under the project on Wednesday, Acting CEO of NHE Nick Hibbert said land acquisition remains the toughest challenge and it is more prevalent in localities where there is a biggest demand of people who can afford NHE houses.

He noted that the project is initially meant to build 20 houses in Windhoek for N.dollars 10 million and adverts were placed in the media, calling for interested residents to register between 16 April to 10 May 2019.

Hibbert said a total of 49 interested applicants applied however only 13 qualified to the criteria which include, fixed income, land title and updated municipality rate and taxes.

For this project we did not look in the current waiting list, we looked at people owning land, because NHE's ability to provide affordable housing is, in most cases, heavily dependent on toughest challenge main being of availability of serviced land, he said.

He further indicated that the five qualified interested parties pulled out for various reasons, therefore the project will embark with eight houses in Otjomuise and Goreangab informal settlements at the tune of N.dollars 8 million.

At the same event, the Minister of Urban and Rural Development Peya Mushelenga said Namibia is faced with a persistent backlog in serviced land and housing, a situation that is manifesting itself in urban sprawl and the growth of informal settlements.

He noted that the ministry has allocated N.dollars 50 million towards housing development in the country through relevant stakeholder such as the municipality and NHE.

Government in response to the needs of our people has embarked upon this pilot project to test the viability of improving houses in the informal settlements, said Mushelenga.

Nangula Imene who is a beneficiary of the pilot project said, she applied for the plot in 2002 and only got the plot in 2012 where her house will be built.

I am very happy because living in the shack is not conducive at all, we go through many hardships which threatens our health, she noted.

Source: Namibia Press Agency