Settlement project delivers 50 more houses

By Hilary Mare

MINISTER of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Uutoni has handed over 50 new houses completed under the informal settlement upgrading pilot project to their beneficiaries.

This was subsequent to 36 houses having already been handed over previously, making a total of 86 houses that the project has managed to deliver so far.

The project hopes to deliver 1 464 more houses by the end of the pilot project.

Handing over the houses, Uutoni highlighted that housing has gained prominence as one of the key national development priorities and an important vehicle for addressing poverty and inequality as well as for bringing about social harmony, economic advancement and ensuring political stability.

“This is why as a nation we have made the provision of access to decent housing as one of the key development priorities as encapsulated in our Vision 2030, National Development Plans and the Harambee Prosperity Plan

“The growth of informal settlements necessitates that we are seen to be at the forefront of initiatives aimed at tackling the challenge toward the ultimate transformation. In this regard, we have been called to provide not only leadership but also good vision and team work towards assisting the less privileged citizens, whether we are in the public or the private sector,” said Uutoni.

He went on to add that the project has had its fair share of challenges that have stifled progress.

Some of the challenges that have been brought under his attention are that some contractors are not adhering to the set deadlines in completing the houses, including the quality and the standard.

Others are that some of the beneficiaries are not available to sign deeds of sale during working hours and are also reluctant to commit to typologies that they qualify for based on their affordability and refuse to sign deeds of sale.

“Several cancellations by beneficiaries after drawings were approved affected progress in meeting the deadlines in terms of completion of number of houses. It is important to keep in mind that the various housing typologies or categories of houses being built under the project are designed in a many that allows for incremental development that is for the owners to start small and to later gradually add on some finishes and even add more rooms or sections as and when their income allows,” he said.

Uutoni further stated that a house needs an owner who not only desires a house but also recognises that there is a cost involved in bringing about such a house that he or she desires and is prepared to play his or her role by signing up and committing to pay for the house.

“I therefore wish to thank those members of the public who have already signed up to the project, which offers a viable solution, and I call on and encourage others in Windhoek to come on board. Although government is doing its utmost best to provide decent and improved living standards for the citizens, it cannot do so alone. It needs all our collective effort and support including from our business community to make a lasting impact in the delivery of housing for your people,” concluded Uutoni.