The much-anticipated Osona Village initiative near Okahandja is expected to meet government halfway in achieving the set target of servicing 26 000 residential plots and constructing 20 000 new housing units, as envisaged in the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP).
To boost the massive housing project planned at Osona Village the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) will provide funds to service approximately 3 419 erven and 11 000 housing units, a development that speaks to the housing component of the HPP.
The massive housing project, which is expected to cater for men and women in uniform, was unveiled yesterday during a groundbreaking ceremony officiated by President Hage Geingob at Osona Village, some 65 km north of Windhoek.
The GIPF has pledged to deliver on pillar three of the HPP, which deals with social progression and primarily aims to service land and providing adequate housing and sanitation to Namibians.
According to the chief executive officer of GIPF, David Nuyoma, the Osona Village development aims to provide affordable serviced residential land, build capacity and support social and economic upliftment in the country. In the process it is also expected to yield an investment return for GIPF members.
“The servicing of the 400 plots, which marks phase 1, was completed and today we will witness the groundbreaking ceremony for the commencement of the actual housing units,” Nuyoma said.
He said the housing units have already been taken up by men and women in uniform.
“To date GIPF has committed N$3.3 billion through its Unlisted Investment Programme (UIP), the majority of which has been earmarked for property development and financing of bonds on homes for civil servants,” he explained.
He added that some of the milestones realised through the UIP include the servicing of some 1 700 erven countrywide, the construction and delivery of 559 houses and financing of 1 810 mortgaged houses, as well as mall developments.
“We’re in the second phase of our UIP and have committed an additional N$2.6 billion to private equity investments, debt and infrastructure, as well as land servicing and housing,” he said.
President Geingob repeated his mantra, saying “No Namibian should feel left out” and that GIPF – after consultation with government – decided to launch the initiative as a first action aimed at addressing the shortage of housing amongst the uniformed forces.
“In modern life, housing is something that has a profound impact on the human psyche. Access to a decent home can light the spirit of human endeavour,” the president noted.
“A decent home can be the spark, or catalyst, which can propel an individual across the poverty gap towards prosperity,” he further said.
“Economists agree that many other qualities derive from an individual’s home. More than a roof over one’s head, the home has come to symbolise family, stability and wealth,” he added.
The president further noted that as the largest single investment for most families and the driver of demand in key sectors of the economy, housing plays a huge role in a nation’s economic development.
“I believe in the saying, ‘from each according to his or her ability and to each according to his or her need’. Under this pillar, government has the dual responsibility to take care of the neediest citizens, while creating an environment in which those with ability can prosper,” he said.
He said addressing the land and housing challenge is a key objective of his government and noted that land servicing, housing and sanitation are critical issues addressed under the third pillar of the HPP.
“There is nothing more fundamental to a sense of security in the world than having a home and being safe within it,” he concluded.