By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK With an increase in the demand for houses in the country, many people are looking into the option of having cheaper, alternative and quality housing. Against this backdrop there has been a growing interest in Trans Atlantic Enterprises Company’s lightweight concrete housing structures from members of the public. When New Era published the story about the innovative housing last month, the company was inundated with calls from interested individuals and business entities in the country. In what is termed as ‘knock-down houses” by company marketing manager Freddy Taylor it is said this form of housing is set to address the housing deficit particularly for those who are unable to afford the costly price of conventional houses. Some of the interested parties were prominent construction companies, ordinary citizens, farmers as well as some embassies that want to develop similar business in their own countries. In response to the enquiries received, Taylor said people have become more interested in the affordability of such houses and how to pay for them. “It needs to be emphasised that the unit is a knock down lightweight concrete structure with a curb comprising of lightweight concrete panels,” said the marketing manager, adding that such structures are built according to the monthly salary of clients. It also turns out that since such housing caters mainly for the lowly paid income groups residing in squatter settlements, a client can opt for this kind of affordable housing based on monthly income. According to the latest brochure from the company, the price of a two to three bed-roomed house ranges between N$10 000 and N$14 000 which can be paid off in stages. However, the price could become less if the units are smaller in size. “It all depends on the what the person can earn. If a person can only afford a housing unit between N$5 000 and N$10 000 then we’ll build a structure for that price, which they can at a later stage extend.” He explained that there is also an option to lay-by. While these prices include the electrical fitting and sewerage systems, it does not include floor covering, a 100-litre geyser, fencing or boundary walls. However clients need to bear in mind that “all prices are subject to confirmation on placement of 50 percent deposit with an order,” reads the brochure. Many people that New Era spoke to said that this is a much better option than staying for years in their shacks in most of the informal settlements. After inspecting the product in the capital recently, it was also revealed that the structures also have good insulation whereby it becomes cool in summer and warm in winter. In a nutshell, Trans Atlantic Enterprises is striving to target the shanty areas of the city by transforming them into decent affordable housing, especially for the majority poor. The locally driven initiative is viewed as a promotional effort to help Government in addressing the current housing shortage in the country, while at the same time getting rid of the squatter settlement image. Currently, Namibia has a backlog of 300 000 houses due to limited resources. It also turns out that the over 90 percent of the housing materials are imported from South Africa, making the inclusion of transport costs and extras added to the overall price that has to be paid by the client. The new venture offers affordable quality housing for Namibians in line with Vision 2030.
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