Mass houses occupied for free in Oshakati

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Nuusita Ashipala

Ongwediva-Occupants of the mass housing houses at Oshakati are in limbo about when they will fully acquire full ownership of their houses as they have not started paying for the houses despite occupying them for more than a year now.

Occupants of mass houses said they have been fed with conflicting information, leaving them with more questions than answers about the status of ownership of the houses.

“We were first informed that the money will be paid into an account with the (now defunct) SME Bank and then later we heard that the ministry was not sure whether the money should be paid to the ministry or to NHE. Up to now we are still waiting,” said a beneficiary who refused to be named.

But the situation is likely to be the same throughout the country.
The 209 houses at Oshakati were handed over at Oshakati by the Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa in June last year.

Around the same time 337 were handed over at Okahao and Oshikuku with the rest of the houses across the country expected to have been handed over by June 25 last year.

It has however been established that bank deductions were effected on 10 occupants at the end of October.
Meanwhile, some said they have been paying rental fees to the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) while some objected to the motion for paying rental fees on their own properties.

“Why should we pay rental fees for our own properties?  If we had started paying for these houses last year when we moved in we would already have paid much,” said another resident.

They said the situation is disheartening because some had plans to upgrade their houses, but cannot do so until they are assured they are the sole owners of the house.

“We are only owners on paper – there is currently no security, hence one cannot do much,” lamented another resident.

The concerns over ownership are not new at Ehenye.  
When the houses were handed over no contractual agreement had been signed with the recipients and the ministry.
Those who were furnished with keys at the handover charged that the content of agreement had not been disclosed to them and they were uncertain of the prices of the houses.

It was also further established that prices for the force employees such as those of the Namibian Defence Force have been reduced.

Questions sent to the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development three weeks ago have not been answered.

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