Namibia: No house should cost more than N$500 000 – Mushelenga

URBAN and rural development minister Peya Mushe-lenga

Namibia URBAN and rural development minister Peya Mushe-lenga on tuesday gave a directive to the retained board members of the National Housing Enterprise that no house should cost more than N$500 000.

The minister made this call during his announcement that the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) board will serve another three years in office.

Mushelenga said the board had proven in their term that they are committed to the low-cost housing project, and that he has faith that they will transform the institution in their new tenure.

The retained directors are Sam Shivute as chairperson, Aisha Isaak, Oscar Capelao, Petrina Nakale and Elton !Gaoseb. “Your reappointment comes at a right time when I, as your line minister, has been charged by his excellency the president with the task of drafting the urbanisation and spatial development policy that will do away with shacks,” the minister stated, adding that the policy will see Namibia enter a new period of proper housing for people.

Reminding them of their duty towards development, the minister said while high-quality housing should be the first priority for the NHE, no house should cost more than N$500 000.

Pointing out that he has only been in office since February this year, and can therefore not answer to all queries from before he took office, the minister admitted that the NHE is faced with a massive challenge of houses being built under the low-cost housing scheme remaining unoccupied because the supposed beneficiaries end up not being able to afford them.

Shivute, on his part, said they need all stakeholders to become team players in the provision of low-cost housing, especially the local authorities when it comes to making land available. “We cannot build houses in the air, so we want land to be made available by the local authorities,” the board chairperson stressed.

The NHE has been marred by controversy over the years, with the entity being hit with allegations of corruption, failing to pay contractors, and constructing substandard houses. The current board’s term is effective from 1 October 2018, and will come to an end on 30 September 2021.