Construction of 113 houses launchedat Goreangab

GROUNDBREAKING … The Informal Settlement Upgrading Affordable Housing Pilot Project launched the official start of the construction of 113 units in Goreangab Extension 4 in Windhoek yesterday. Photo: City of Windhoek

The Informal Settlement Upgrading Affordable Housing Pilot Project launched the official start of the construction of 113 units at Goreangab Extension 4 on Monday.

At the event, urban and rural development deputy minister Evelyn !Nawases-Taeyele said the project was commissioned in June 2020 by her ministry, the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) and the Windhoek municipality.

“Since inception, the project has successfully delivered 694 affordable and quality houses for residents of Windhoek’s informal settlement areas,” she said.

According to !Nawases-Taeyele, the houses built under this project have become very popular and demand has skyrocketed. This prompted the two institutions to look at their priority areas and devise measures to increase the housing stock under the project.

She said to this end, 503 plots serviced under the Mass Urban Land Servicing Project have been made available with the aim of constructing houses, hence the 113 housing units.

“The 113 houses we are launching today will be a combination of two-bedroom, free standing and one and two-bedroom flats that would cater for various income levels of our beneficiaries. We have entrusted the construction part to the City of Windhoek and the NHE to continue the excellent work they have been doing for the past three years,” she said.

The houses are set to be constructed in three phases over a period of 12 months, with the final stock expected to be delivered in April 2025, and beneficiaries will be identified in line with the criteria of the Informal Settlement Upgrading Programme, while directing special preference to men and women in uniform.

“So far, there are over 400 applications from individuals who want to benefit from the project, and this identification and application process was executed transparently via an advert that was placed in most print media platforms,” !Nawases-Taeyele said.

Speaking at the event, Windhoek mayor Queen Kamati said: “Today is an example of another milestone that we celebrate, because of that initial gathering in 2020. This milestone has the potential to completely transform the landscape of this area and greatly improve the quality of life of our beneficiaries, who will become deserving homeowners.”

Kamati added that affordable housing is imperative towards national and economic development goals.

“We know affordable housing also increases a sense of social connectivity, adjacent property values, but also reduces overcrowding and crime rates. Therefore, it is my expectation that we remain focused and that we commit to accelerate our efforts and increase the delivery of more houses,” she said.

Khomas region governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua said access to safe and affordable housing can significantly impact health outcomes, educational attainment and employment prospects, breaking the cycle of poverty and promoting upward mobility.

“By addressing housing needs, regional and local authorities can reduce homelessness, alleviate strain on social services and create vibrant, inclusive neighbourhoods where all residents can lead fulfilling lives. Thus, prioritising housing for individuals, especially those in our informal settlements, is not only a matter of social responsibility, but also a strategic investment in the collective welfare and prosperity of the community,” McLeod-Katjirua said.

She added that this initiative is strongly sought after as the key to eliminating shacks in Namibia. The pilot project, once matured in its testing phase, will be rolled out across the country.

She said the Khomas Regional Council is proud to be part of a group of dedicated stakeholders shaping a new path for the future of housing in Namibia.

“We stand ready to continue to support and guide this project, under the leadership of the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, and with the support of the City of Windhoek and the NHE for the betterment of the lives of all our communities, constituencies and, eventually, the country,” she added.

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