Six houses constructed under the mass housing project to alleviate the housing deficit across the country were handed to beneficiaries at a ceremony held at Katima Mulilo on Monday.
New Era understands that initially about 39 of the 200 houses constructed under the first phase of the mass housing project in Katima Mulilo were due to be handed over. However, due to a setback only six houses were handed to those who qualified as beneficiaries.
Officiating at the handover ceremony the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sofia Shaningwa, said this is a sign that despite some challenges encountered with the implementation of the mass housing programme the government remains committed to fulfil its promises to provide houses.
“We did not waver in our commitment to deliver affordable houses to needy Namibians here in the Zambezi and other regions of the country,” stated the urban and rural development minister.
Shaningwa further stated that government has stepped up in ensuring that implementation of the housing programme will be realised.
“As you will recall, the government stepped in last year to halt the implementation of the programme with a view to sort out identified challenges and to put the programme back on the right course. We have taken appropriate remedial measures and consequently sent contractors back to the various sites to resume work,” she elaborated.
Shaningwa stressed that only those without a decent shelter should benefit from the mass housing project. She also reminded recipients that they will not be allowed to sell their houses in the next 10 years.
“The house or property cannot change ownership for the next 10 years; and when this time-based requirement has been met and the beneficiary opts to sell the house, the government shall have first option to buy back such house,” she explained.
Shaningwa also stressed that the government alone will not be able to address the housing shortage in the country and that other stakeholders should come on board and provide houses to those in need.
“This requires a team effort in the spirit of Harambee, whereby the government, the private sector and civil society work and pull together in the same direction,” she elaborated.