Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa resumed the allocation of houses under the mass housing programme over the weekend when she handed over 17 houses in Walvis Bay, 44 houses in Swakopmund and others in Henties Bay.
Shaningwa said the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) would also start allocating all houses constructed under the first phase programme throughout the country as soon as possible.
The Harambee Prosperity Plan tasks the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development to deliver at least 20 000 new houses, approximately 26 000 residential plots, eradicate the bucket system by the end of 2017, and construct 50 000 toilets over the 5-year period.
However, Shaningwa said that government cannot address the housing issue alone as it also requires strong public private partnerships from all stakeholders.
“We do not want houses to be built for free in order to be affordable. It must be understood that our partners should also make a profit while we are addressing the housing shortage. However, their profit must be reasonable,” the minister explained.
She added that government is subsidising the houses so that those who earn as little as N$2 700 will also be able to afford a house.
“This is all part of government’s efforts and commitment to provide decent shelter to our people. It is also proof that we do not just talk, we mean business and want to deliver on our targets. I urge everyone to remain positive and patient as we are doing everything in our power to provide housing to everyone,” the minister said.
Nampol traffic officer Willem Kahorungo, who applied for a house through NHE in 2008, was one of the recipients who could not hide his joy when he received keys for his two-bedroom house from the minister on Friday.
Kahorungo who has been living in the police barracks for years said that he is ecstatic as he now has an opportunity to live with his family and have a place to call home. “In the barracks there is no privacy and I stayed without my family,” said Kahorungo who had not informed his family on Friday when he received the keys to the house.
“This is my surprise to them. I will just take them on a ride and then take them to the house,” he said. It was a long wait but in the end it was worth it. I am finally a home owner,” he said.
Asked about the repayment instalment on his house, Kahorungo said that it is definitely affordable and worth it as it is at least his own property he is paying off.