24 Mar 2016 08:20am
WINDHOEK, 24 MAR (NAMPA) A budget amount of N.dollars 100 million has been allocated to the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) by the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development for the 2016/17 financial year.
Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa who introduced the ministry's budget allocation in the National Assembly (NA) on Tuesday, said the money will be directed to the recapitalisation of the NHE with a view to strengthen its balance sheet and enable it to source external funding to sustain its operation.
The ministry received N.dollars 2,8 billion of the N.dollars 61 billion national expenditure budget for the 2016/17 financial year.
Shaningwa said the provision of housing is not only the responsibility of Government but also the private sector through public private partnerships and the community.
As such, the ministry has been working with and supporting community-based organisations such as the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) whose members are people in the ultra-low and low income groups, she stated.
The federation will also be allocated an amount of N.dollars 7 million.
The allocations of the budget are targeted towards infrastructure and housing development.
The programme consists of interventions by Government aimed at supporting and boosting the development and availability of housing, basic infrastructure and services, as well as ensuring proper and sustainable urban and regional planning and development in the country.
Shaningwa also noted the urban and rural development ministry remains committed to addressing the backlog in the development and availability of serviced land and affordable housing and basic services.
In this regard, we will use the budget allocation to continue our housing delivery interventions under the Mass Housing Development Programme and the SDFN, as well as support regional councils and local authorities to maintain and increase the delivery of serviced land and provision of basic infrastructure and services at the grassroots level, she stated.
Housing and the lack of serviced land along with poverty and unemployment are of Namibias current issues that require immediate attention in the interest of the nation. Municipalities limited budgets and selling land through auction to developers that service the land for the local authorities has escalated the price of housing to an unaffordable level, with Namibians renting from the elite or living in corrugated iron structures in informal settlements on unserviced land.