… 422 new houses being handed over
By Hilary Mare
CHIEF Executive Officer at the National Housing Enterprise (NHE), Gisbertus Mukulu has denied that the housing enterprise is currently dormant, saying that, on the contrary, they have started handing over some of the 422 houses under construction at Oshakati, Okahao, Omuthiya and Rundu.
In an interview with Confidente recently, Mukulu also highlighted that as a financing institution, NHE has an active loan book in excess of N$500 million that continues to grow steadily.
“These projects are expected to come to its definite conclusion by March 2019. However it must be noted that some initiatives to ensure continuous delivery of housing are running concurrent with the current construction of the 422 houses,” he said.
With concern Mukulu noted that currently it is a struggle for NHE to acquire land in most local authorities.
“In some cases where land is availed, it is un-serviced and/or highly priced such that it defeats our purpose to build houses that people will not afford. There are of course some local authorities that should be applauded for being considerate and understand that our work complements each other and we serve the same populace. Other local authorities also simply have no land to avail to NHE for housing purposes. That’s how daunting the task is,” Mukulu said.
Expressing optimism, Mukulu said NHE has undoubtedly made noticeable financial improvements evidenced in its reduced budget deficit, significant reduction in legacy debts, as well as continuous growth of the loan book. “I have also engaged local authorities extensively on the issue of providing affordable land to NHE.”
Looking forward, Mukulu said NHE was working on a plan to ensure affordability of their houses to a greater share of the population.
“We have established that affordability of houses is a serious problem countrywide. The reality on the ground is that the biggest group of prospective homeowners is made up of ultra-low to middle-income earners. We are revising some of our financing and house design models to ensure that the majority of our products are affordable to this income bracket.
“Furthermore, we are investigating ways to engage and partner with private land owners, particularly in urban centres, through smart partnerships that will enable delivery of houses affordable to those that are currently on our waiting list.
“Such initiatives if successful will see NHE reducing its waiting list significantly, grow its loan book – hence continuously maintaining its sustainability – and reduce its reliance on government funding. Ultimately, the aforesaid will also usher NHE in a much-needed position to contribute towards poverty eradication through giving many people an opportunity to own a bankable property, which they can use as collateral in order to access formal credit facilities for their own wealth generation,” Mukulu said.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015