RUNDU – There are about 3,207 clients on the National Housing Enterprise (NHE)’s waiting list in Rundu, although the town council’s own housing backlog stood at a hair-raising 30,000 units in 2016.
Nationally, NHE has 90,000 house-seeking clients on its waiting list. At the beginning of February this year NHE commenced a new housing construction initiative that will bring 123 homes to families in Rundu. This would still leave 3,084 clients waiting – underpinning just how acute housing is in Namibia as a whole.
“This is a unique initiative by NHE where we are partnering with the public sector. We brand it as a RFP, Request for Proposals, where we have gone out in the market to partner with individuals and companies that have the money and also have the skills and technical capacity to build houses,” NHE’s Corporate Communications and Marketing Manager Eric Libongani said last week.
“Now we have gone out into the market and we received 54 bids from people willing to partner with NHE, meaning to fund our housing project and to construct the houses. Now we have a total of 423 plots that we are piloting for this project. We have 200 in Oshakati, 50 in Omuthiya, 50 in Okahao and 123 here in Rundu.”
Libongani was in Rundu with a team of technical staff from NHE head office to assess progress made so far. According to Libongani, the Rundu project, which is being constructed by Darwin Investment Group Namibia in a joint venture with Salami Island Investments, is a very unique initiative because it is a process whereby NHE doesn’t need to go to government and ask for money.
“Rather, NHE without using a cent, requests money, we do the design, we do the plans and then we avail the land. We avail the clientele, we do the demand analysis and ensure that the plans and the cost of the houses speak to the real needy on our waiting list, which is currently close to 90,000 countrywide, and we look forward to addressing it,” he said.
Libongani and his team also inspected other projects in Okahao, Oshakati and Omuthiya and have reported.
“I must mention that we are very happy that in Rundu we are progressing very well. It’s a 12-month project but as you can observe we have a lot of houses that are at roof level – this is very exciting for us.”
In Rundu, NHE already has clients that they have referred to the banks to go and seek for pre-approvals so that by the time the new houses are formally completed, the clients should be ready to move in.
“All houses range between N$360,000 and N$539,000, meaning they are still affordable and we are very happy that we are achieving affordability,” Libongani noted.