More Namibians prefer owning land: IPPR

13 Mar 2018 18:20pm
WINDHOEK, 13 MAR (NAMPA) – The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)'s report on housing challenges revealed that the majority of selected people in Namibia prefer buying land over renting accommodation or buying a house.
The report titled, ‘Housing in Namibia: Rights, Challenges and Opportunities”, was launched here on Tuesday and is based on a survey conducted in Otjiwarongo, Walvis Bay and Windhoek.
A total of 315 respondents, mainly between the ages of 26 and 40 from low income, informal and middle income neighbourhoods in the three towns were interviewed.
The majority of respondents in all three towns revealed a preference for buying land. In Otjiwarongo, 57 per cent of households preferred to buy land, compared to 37 per cent who chose buying a house and six per cent choosing to rent.
In Walvis Bay, 20 per cent of the participants chose buying a piece of land compared to 35 per cent rental preference and 45 per cent inclination to buy a house.
The IPPR said Government prioritised addressing housing shortfalls, however this approach ignored citizens’ needs and preferences for a wide variety of housing options.
“The survey demonstrated clearly that the Walvis Bay respondents have much more interest in affordable rented accommodation than ownership,” the IPPR said.
A total of 61 per cent of households interviewed in Windhoek indicated a preference to buy land.
Only 38 per cent indicated that they would like to buy a house, while one per cent chose rent preference in the capital.
Expressing his personal views on the report, Deputy Minister for Urban and Rural Development, Derek Klazen, said he was skeptical about people owning land as opposed to houses.
He said the need for housing was high, so much so that some people built their homes and had squatters in their backyards whom they profited from.
“Shacks have also become a way of income for many. The more shacks they can hire out, the more income. Some do not need to work because they make money from the people,” he explained.
Findings in the report also revealed that many study respondents felt that the process of acquiring, servicing and formalising urban land was a lengthy, cumbersome and costly undertaking and unsuitable for meeting current land needs.