Mass housing properties must be allocated: Shaningwa

15 Apr 2016 14:30pm
SWAKOPMUND, 15 APR (NAMPA) – Cabinet is expected to pronounce itself on the fate of completed and unoccupied houses under the national mass housing project before the end of May this year.
Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa said this decision will then be communicated to local authorities, regional councils and the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) which will be selling the houses.
“We can no longer wait; the houses must be given to people. In the meantime, those who can should please continue to recruit security guards to protect the properties from vandalism,” she said on Thursday in response to questions posed by //Kharas Regional Governor Lucia Basson at Swakopmund.
Basson raised the issue during the consultative retreat of regional governors, chairpersons of regional and village councils, mayors and chief executive officers and the line ministry.
“The houses are now being vandalised; these houses must be given to people already. We also want to know who are the owners of such houses, and to who will such houses be given and when?” she queried.
Shaningwa clarified that people on the NHE and municipalities’ waiting lists will be given priority in the allocation of houses.
With regards to money collected from the sale of houses, the minister revealed that it will be put into a revolving fund to be used to construct more houses for other people to benefit in order to combat the housing deficit in the country.
Shaningwa stressed that people who are allocated houses should not be allowed to sell it for a minimum period of 10 years.
“These are Government properties where hundreds of millions (of dollars) were spent. Do not just think we give it to you and you can sell it to make a quick profit,” said the minister.
She noted that Cabinet initially wanted to sell the houses at such prices that funds invested in the construction can be recovered, but the reality is that people cannot afford these prices.
The ministry thus drafted proposals to Cabinet to consider reducing the selling prices of such houses, of which some are worth approximately N.dollars 600 000.
“I cannot reveal how much we suggest the houses be sold at, but it is a lower price,” said Shaningwa.
Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba introduced the programme in 2013 as an answer to Namibia’s lack of housing.
The two-day annual retreat which started on Thursday and ended on Friday was attended by leaders from all 14 regions.
They deliberated on land delivery issues and how to provide affordable housing to all Namibians.