Mass housing properties in Rehoboth unoccupied and vandalised

21 Aug 2016 12:10pm
By Rhonie //Garoëb
REHOBOTH, 21 AUG (NAMPA) - Houses built under the national mass housing scheme in Rehoboth are still unoccupied and have been vandalised.
These houses are meant for people with low incomes who do not have collateral. None of the 62 houses constructed at Rehoboth have been occupied yet.
The delay in the handing over is a result of unhappiness among potential homeowners, who feel the names on the list of beneficiaries have been tampered with.
Disgruntled residents have taken to the Rehoboth Nuus Facebook page to air their frustration at the apparent laxity of the Rehoboth Town Council and Ministry of Urban and Rural Development to deal with the hold-up in the allocation of the houses.
A clearly frustrated resident living in the Kavukiland residential area in Rehoboth who did not want to disclose his identity for fear of victimisation said he applied for a house in 2013 and saw his name on a list on the council’s notice board.
“We were asked for our salary slips, police declaration and three months’ bank statements, which I handed in. Until today, I don’t know if I am still on that list.
“The houses are being broken down by vandals, while we suffer and rent houses for exorbitant amounts which we could have invested in those mass houses,” he remarked.
In June this year, Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa found discrepancies in the manner in which the list was compiled by the town council, and instructed the council to come up with a list that is fair and transparent.
Contacted for comment, Chief Executive Officer of the Rehoboth Town Council Chris /Uirab said they are busy compiling a new list from applications received since 2005.
/Uirab said applications dating back to 2005 which were believed to have gotten lost resurfaced in the housing department offices. It resulted in the allocation process being put on hold while the list is compiled anew as per the minister’s instructions. He referred all questions regarding the criteria being used to allocate the houses to the Manager of Corporate Affairs and Human Resources, Willie Swartz. Several attempts were made to contact Swartz, but his mobile went to voicemail.
Several messages were also left with his office assistant, but he did not return the calls. On Thursday, this news agency was informed that he had driven to Lüderitz.
“We are currently in the process of verifying and seeing whether some applicants are still alive and if they are still interested. After that, we will determine who will receive the houses,” /Uirab said.
/Uirab attributed the vandalism to “unhappy” people and said the likelihood is that they felt aggrieved because their names are not on the list.
“The people might feel hard done by and took their frustrations out by vandalising the houses,” he said.
Asked about security measures, /Uirab said a security company has been appointed to guard the houses.
However, when this reporter visited the houses last at 11h00 and again at 19h00 on the same day, there were no security guards in sight. /Uirab said he would contact the security company and if necessary hire another company so any possible further vandalism can be avoided.
Also contacted on Friday, the Director of Housing in the line ministry, Merrow Thaniseb, said that by the end of the month, they will have resolved all outstanding matters concerning the allocation and dates on which the houses will be allocated.
“The only delay was the list, but now everything is almost done,” he said.
A Core 5 house (one bedroom, bathroom and open plan kitchen) is offered at a reduced price of N.dollars 90 000 and would be affordable for someone who earns about N.dollars 2 700 per month.