Great mismatch in housing supply and demand - Ya Ndakolo

12 Apr 2014 14:00pm
TSUMEB, 12 APR (NAMPA) – Oshikoto Regional Governor, Penda ya Ndakolo on Thursday expressed concern about the huge mismatch between the demand for housing and the supply of affordable houses in the country.
Ya Ndakolo’s raised this concern in a statement which was read on his behalf by Tsumeb Constituency Councillor Lebbius Tobias at the official handover of 65 new houses built by the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) for the employees of Dundee Precious Metals in Tsumeb.
“Namibia is faced with a profound constraint of a mismatch between the supply of houses and its demand in the whole country. This remains a key concern for all policymakers,” Ya Ndakolo stressed.
The Oshikoto Regional Governor said Namibian policymakers believe that it is important to address the imbalance in the supply of housing in order to address the social aspects related to sustainable and affordable housing countrywide.
He said the Namibian Government has introduced several national initiatives and allocated funds and resources to facilitate access to housing among the low income earners.
Ya Ndakolo said the prices of houses have been excessively increased every year, and affordable houses are now beyond the reach of the majority of the Namibian population.
The Oshikoto Regional Governor attributed the huge backlog in the provision of houses in Namibia to the complex constraints in urban land servicing procedures which, he said, hinders the low and middle income earners from accessing residential land.
“Serviced land within the municipal areas continues to be a problem so much so that only high-income earners are benefiting from it,” Ya Ndakolo charged.
He said the majority of Namibians continue to rent houses or squat with relatives as they cannot afford the market prices of houses in the country.
Ya Ndakolo also criticised commercial banks for not financing houses in rural areas where the majority of Namibians live.
The Oshikoto Regional Governor said due to this unavailability and affordability of housing, urbanisation will continue to be a problem in Namibia.
“Therefore, this alarming situation calls for radical policy measures to restore the housing market as well as to encourage private and state institutions to merge efforts and make a greater impact in assisting the government in this housing issue,” he said.
Dundee Precious Metals is a Canadian-owned company which acquired Tsumeb Copper Smelter Mine from the Weatherly Mining International in 2010.
The company purchased a residential piece of land in Kivukiland from the Tsumeb Municipality in 2013 and partnered with the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) to build houses for its employees.
Dundee Precious Metals also paid for the construction of streets, installation of water, electricity and sewerage services on the land at a total cost over N.dollars 15 million.
The 65 employees of Dundee Precious Metals who received houses on Thursday signed housing loan contracts with the NHE to pay a “reasonable” monthly installment for their houses to NHE for a period of 20 years.