13 Jun 2016 18:20pm
KATIMA MULILO, 13 JUN (NAMPA) The National Housing Enterprises (NHE) has handed over some of the houses built under the first phase of the Mass Housing programme in the Zambezi Region.
On Monday, Urban and Rural Development Minister, Sophia Shaningwa officially handed over seven of 39 houses to first-time home owners at new NHE residential areas.
Another 160 more houses near completion are expected to be handed over to beneficiaries by 25 June.
At the handover ceremony, Shaningwa said Cabinet took a decision that houses under the programme be categorised for ultra-low and low income groups and be sold at prices that are lower than the actual cost of construction.
With approved discounted selling prices, a person earning a salary of N.dollars 2 700 per month will now be able to afford a house at a reduced price of N.dollars 90 000, she said.
Shaningwa noted that the next phase of the programme will ensure that enough housing units are built in order to address the countrys current housing backlog of 100 000 housing units.
This number is growing at an annual rate of 3 700 units.
Shaningwa stressed to the housing beneficiaries that they are prohibited from erecting any zinc strictures or shacks on the premises or around the house.
The home owners are also not allowed to change ownership for the next 10 years, and when this time-based requirement has been met and the beneficiary opts to sell, Government will be given first option to buy it back.
The only alterations that can be done on the land is extending the houses with proper brick structures. Under no conditions will shacks be erected. I also urge you all to honour monthly mortgages and payments, so Government can have money to build more units for the needy,' said Shaningwa.
Katima Mulilo mayor Georgina Mwiya-Simataa said the housing crisis in the country has reached a worrying stage, as it is aggravated by limited affordability capacity due to low household income levels and high unemployment.
Namibia continues to experience an acute shortage of affordable houses, a situation that has reached a socio-economic crisis proportion and hence warrants an extra-ordinary public policy response, he said.
Mwiya-Simataa called on Katima Mulilo residents and new home owners to appreciate the development being brought to the region and exercise patience as the housing backlog is being addressed at a suitable rate.
Community members, development is being brought to us, let us appreciate these houses and use them with good cause and avoid issues of and grabbing. We encourage all to follow the right procedures of land applications, Mwiya-Simataa said.