The 16-year wait for a house


Matheus Hamutenya

Keetmanshoop-The Wimmerth family has until very recently been patiently waiting for 16 years to get a house, having registered for a house through the Build Together Programme housing list nearly a decade and a half ago.

The Wimmerth family received their two-bedroom house last month, together with 74 other families at Keetmanshoop who were allocated houses, built under the mass housing programme, in the last week of June.

“After 16 years of praying for a house and looking for a house to call our own, it is a great feeling to finally have one, and we can afford it,” says Michael Wimmerth. He says the family had been paying rent of N$2,500 for a home and are now pleased to be paying a mortgage of only N$800 per month for a two-bedroom house.

Wimmerth, who is an entrepreneur, narrated how for more than a decade he and his wife had to pay high rental fees to ensure that they had decent shelter that could accommodate the two of them and their four children, and thus he is grateful that his family finally got a house.

Another family had been squatting at the man’s workplace. Alloysia Garoes who is a cashier at a supermarket at the town is also a new owner of a two-bedroom house, and she could not hide her joy at having a place of her own. “I am very happy that we can now call this place home, it was very difficult living with my husband where he works, even if we pay this much (N$2,000) per month it is at least for our own house,” she said.

Garoes said before they got the house they used to live at her husband’s workplace where he is a brickmaker, a place she said was small for the family of four.

Almost half of the total 320 mass houses at Keetmanshoop have now been handed to their owners. The new homeowners say they are not only happy to have a place to call their own, but are elated that the houses are affordable.

The houses handed over recently included one and two-bedroom houses, priced between N$70,000 and N$225,000, with monthly instalments ranging from N$800 to about N$2,000. For many who talked to New Era the monthly instalments are affordable.


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