Financial support for alternative building materials proposed

05 Oct 2018 10:40am
WINDHOEK, 05 OCT (NAMPA) – The group tasked with deliberating on urban land delivery at the second National Land Conference proposed support by financial institutions and banks to finance houses that have used alternative building materials.
The use of alternative building materials took spotlight during the deliberations on Wednesday and Thursday, as it was not fully exploited to allow for the use of local materials and value chains to generate local revenue while encouraging building or housing construction.
“The current standards for building materials are prohibitive as they often do not allow low income groups to engage themselves in the building process, so we need to revise those standards,” Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) Lecturer for Land and Property Sciences, Charl-Thom Bayer said while presenting the draft recommendations to the conference.
Another recommendation was the availability of partially serviced land primarily with sewerage and water that could be sold because energy can be supplied by gas and solar energy other than electricity which would make land and the cost of acquiring housing cheaper, he said.
Furthermore, government should subsidise low income housing to increase affordability as well as essential services for improved land delivery.
The lack of serviced land in formal and informal industrial and economic activities was also identified whereby a national spatial plan was proposed to be integrated across the public sector for industrial development.
The time for land delivery process should also be shortened by implementing a new town and regional act and conduction a legislative review to see how that process could be shortened to an effective period of about six months, he said.
The group was tasked to look at urban land delivery and prices thereof; land sizes for housing and standards, moratorium on rezoning and sale of private farmland; access to financing for housing; and townland expansion and compensation.
Local authorities should service low and middle income groups and look at decentralising some of the deeds offices while at the same time standardise legal transactions for property transfers which would help bring down the costs.
He added that there was also a need to increase the amount of serviced land available, adding that local authorities had to consider entering into structured agreements with first buyers to increase their purchasing and access to housing schemes.