WINDHOEK – The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has reiterated its call on local authorities and entrepreneurs to make use of its financing to service land, build low-cost houses and improve municipal infrastructure.
An advert in the media titled ‘We turn on the taps for local authorities’ is urging municipalities, town councils, village councils and individual business people that have ideas or projects on how to develop their city, town or village to come forward and tap into the bank’s deep reserves.
Jerome Mutumba, the DBN manager: corporate communication, said that in the past they have funded housing projects in the north in Eenhana, Oshakati and Ongwediva and were highlighting the bank’s offerings again that are tailor-made for such initiatives.
DBN’s financing covers installation of water, electricity and waste management infrastructure as well as building roads.
Namibia has a disturbing shortage of housing, which is compounded by a shortage of serviced land that local authorities blame on a lack of finance.
Mutumba said local authorities may have land but may not have the means to service it, which is where the bank comes in to provide the necessary funding.
He said they also plan to engage the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) in that regard.
Last year, President Hifikepunye Pohamba launched the mass housing development programme to address the dire housing shortage.
The programme plans to build 185 000 affordable houses by the year 2030 and will be implemented in phases at a projected cost of N$45 billion.
The first phase is to run for two years and target all 14 regional capital centres by building an approximate 8 800 housing units while 10 200 plots will be serviced at an estimated cost of N$2.7 billion.
The programme targets the middle, low and ultra-low income groups in terms of providing access to land and housing and is divided into sub-programmes, such as the credit-linked housing that targets middle-income groups, as well as the social or subsidized housing that caters for low- and ultra-low income groups.
The NHE plans to build a total of 10 137 houses countrywide, upgrade 1 227 informal settlements and service 6 415 plots during the first phase of the mass housing project.
By Magreth Nunuhe