National vision for housing needed: IPPR

13 Mar 2018 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 13 MAR (NAMPA) – The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) on Tuesday outlined the need for a national vision for housing for citizens who have few or no possibilities of accessing affordable, secure and adequate housing.
This was revealed in a study titled ‘Housing in Namibia: Rights, Challenges and Opportunities’, which was conducted by the IPPR and launched here on Tuesday.
The study surveyed a total of 315 people living in informal, low- and middle-income neighbourhoods in Windhoek, Swakopmund and Otjiwarongo.
IPPR Executive Director, Graham Hopwood said during the launch major interventions were needed in urban areas.
However, these interventions were not only needed for housing and water, but also for sustainable and integrated communities in an economic sense, safe for people to live in them.
This need, he said, was not explicitly stated in the Namibian Constitution.
The report found that there was a complex and limited regulatory framework and slow delivery by Namibia’s public housing initiatives which “continue to underperform in terms of meeting ambitious construction targets as well as dwelling backlog estimates.”
The report also found that local authorities lacked capacity and resources, while some were actively seeking to address housing and land shortfalls in their jurisdictions.
The report proposed that Government allocate more funding to the housing sector and urban land development.
“Government needs to improve the oversight, management and utilisation of budgets for housing initiatives and related activities,” the IPPR further recommended.
It also proposed that the state prioritise the servicing of land rather than the construction of houses and in turn, housing initiatives should focus on low-income groups.
“The national budget for housing also needs to be administered in a more transparent manner, especially at regional and local authority levels to improve accountability.”