WALVIS BAY – The Erongo Region is well ahead with the mass housing programme with the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) in the Erongo Region announcing plans this week to build at least 5 500 houses within the next 18 months.
NHE western region manager, Karl Schroeder, says the company is on schedule to build 300 houses in the Kuisebmond township. The construction of 70 houses is already underway and is expected to be completed within the next two months. According to him the construction of the 300 houses falls under the first phase of their 18-month plan, which will also see a total of 500 houses being constructed in Narraville township. “We expect all these houses to be completed within six months so that they can be handed over to residents and then start with the second phase,” Schroeder explained.
Overall he says NHE will construct 1 595 houses in total in Walvis Bay within the 18- month period, as well as 3 554 houses in Swakopmund, 54 at Arandis and 80 at Henties Bay.
The NHE further says the mass housing programme has taken off relatively quickly in the Erongo Region, because municipalities and town councils accelerated the servicing of land. “Our local authorities have taken cognisance of the shortage of houses at their towns and the mushrooming of shacks and are therefore in full cooperation with NHE to provide affordable and decent housing.
If we look at Swakopmund the houses that we will built go parallel with the servicing of the plots, which will also incorporate the Democratic Resettlement Community (DRC) and that is a clear indication of how serious they are in terms of providing housing,” Schroeder explained.
Providing an update on the progress of NHE activities in the region, Schroeder said plans for the construction of 43 houses at Henties Bay are already at an advanced stage, while the rest are awaiting the approval of building plans by the municipality. He added that plans are also in place to build 20 houses at Outjo and 100 at Khorixas. “We also have land already available in other towns such as Omaruru, Karibib and Usakos for the construction of houses and hope servicing will take place in due course,” he said. However, the servicing of land remains a critical issue, especially in the informal settlements where some residents are not keen on moving.
“As you can see in DRC people are residing on land that we need to build their houses. We will have to engage with the residents to move so that the servicing of land and the construction of houses can start. We are currently concentrating on already serviced land availed by the municipalities and those who have their own plots already,” he said.
According to Schroeder social housing programmes such as the Build Together scheme will also resort under the NHE. “Some people registered at their respective constituency offices, but these lists will now be combined with our own and synchronized so that the houses can be allocated on a first come, first serve basis,” he says. He further says they are currently concentrating on those who qualify based on their income, since those with a lower income will be subsided by the government.
“The subsidising is currently being dealt with and we would know the outcome soon as to how it will be implemented by the NHE,” he explained.
By Eveline de Klerk