Shaningwa wants allocation of houses to be more transparent

29 May 2016 15:20pm
HENTIES BAY, 29 MAY (NAMPA) – Local authorities and the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) should be transparent in the way they manage waiting lists for housing, Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa says.
Speaking at the handing over of 53 houses constructed under the Mass Housing Programme at Henties Bay on Saturday, the minister suggested that such waiting lists be displayed at local authority and NHE offices across the country.
Shaningwa said she noted with serious concern the injustice in the current questionable system as it is not clear on the lists when people applied, meaning it is not clear who is first in line to receive houses.
She said her observation is that some people who applied first are placed last on the list, adding to their frustrations.
“I want lists which cannot be tampered with. What we have now is a system where anybody can come in and just change the list in any way they wish. As a country we can no longer work like this.”
Shaningwa said when such lists are printed and permanently displayed, it would be difficult for someone to manipulate it and place their friends or relatives at the top of the list so they can benefit before people who have been waiting for years.
“When you see that list, just take down your number so that you know where you stand and how long you will wait. There will be no more complaints,” she told the community members who attended the handing over.
Shaningwa however also explained that the pricing structure plays a role in how houses are allocated.
“If a completed house is too expensive for the first person on the list, then it goes to the next one who can afford it. Just make sure you know how much you can afford,” she advised.
Shaningwa also asked the community members to be vigilant and to inform her office if they spot any irregularities in the allocation of houses, adding that in most cases people complain about corruption but do not report it.
This silence leads to some people getting more than one house, while others are forced to keep staying in shacks.
“We want to make sure nobody gets two houses under Mass Housing. Anybody who already has a house will not get a house under this programme, so report it to us if you see someone has more than one house so we can deal with them. We are tired of people manipulating our system,” said the minister.