By Hileni Nembwaya
THE Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa has announced that the mass housing development programme has indeed resumed and is on the move after it was put on hold for nearly a year.
This time the central government will be the driving force.
The multi-billion-dollar housing programme was launched in 2013 by former President Hifikepunye Pohamba but was suspended due to a number of challenges.
Shaningwa made the announcement at a public information sharing session at Ongwediva on Sunday.
“I am now happy to inform you that the implementation of the programme has resumed with the central government as the driver. The programme will accelerate the delivery of serviced land for housing and affordable housing stock especially for the ultra-low and middle-income members of the society,” said Shaningwa.
She said that during the current financial year Government’s effort is to complete the commenced – but-uncompleted houses as well as to handover the completed ones to the beneficiaries.
“We have set up a revolving fund into which the proceeds from the sale of the houses are to be deposited and to be used to finance the programme. So those who have benefited under the programme have a duty to fulfil their loan obligations. We are cognizant that as a Government alone we will never have all the resources that we need to build the number of houses that we plan to build in order to address the backlog,” she noted.
The Minister further indicated that the Government is faced with a huge housing backlog despite various development initiatives that have been put in place and are being implemented.
She said that the Build Together project is one of the initiatives that have been re-activated to reduce the housing backlog to assist mostly, the low income earners.
Shaningwa however continued to blame the initial failure of the project due to misuse of funds and poor workmanship.
The programme was meant to build more than 10 000 houses from 2014 until 2016 at a cost of N$2.9 billion.
Currently, Namibia has a nationwide housing backlog of more than 140 000.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015