Tsumeb Residents Build 30 Houses for Urban Poor

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By Ester Paulus TSUMEB The Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG) has offered a loan of N$406ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 300 to 30 residents of Nomtsoub Township in Tsumeb with the aim of constructing 30 houses in order to improve housing conditions of the urban poor. The loan granted to individuals range from N$10ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 000 to N$17ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 000 depending on the type of construction and value of the house. Recipients who have already started construction recently spoke to New Era in one voice about their appreciation of the initiative, claiming that most of them were shack-dwellers and some were renting in the backyards of other people’s houses. Meanwhile, the regional coordinator of the Namibia Housing Action Group, Heinrich Amushila, said the federation initially requested land to construct 300 houses although they were granted land to construct only 30 houses by the Tsumeb Municipality. “We have requested land to build 300 houses but the Municipality could only avail land for 30 houses for now. We want to show them that 30 houses are not enough.” He noted, however, that the project is receiving a lot of support from Standard Bank of Namibia and the Oshikoto Regional Council, saying that it encourages both residents and the federation to request for more land in the future in order to reach their goal in building 300 houses for the urban poor in Tsumeb. Among the 30 recipients are three pensioners who have qualified to receive houses for social housing, and these pensioners will only pay N$60 per month, while non-pensioners will pay N$200 per month for 11 years. The houses to be constructed will consist of one bedroom, a kitchen, living room and a toilet. The federation is supported by numerous international organizations as well as the Ministry of Regional and local government, Housing and Rural Development. Meanwhile, as part of their social responsibility, the Standard Bank of Namibia has opened bank accounts for members who received such loans for constructing their houses without charging them any service fee. The construction that started last month is expected to be complete by March next year.

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