Land Minister Shaningwa warns against selling of low cost homes

The Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa allocated 44 houses under the Mass Housing Development Program on Sunday to the residents of Swakopmund. Many of the beneficiaries of the houses in Swakopmund were residents of the Democratic Resettlement Community (DRC).
The Minister warned people not to harbour plans to make a quick buck selling their low cost homes, as these homes should stay in their ownership for at least 10 years.
During the handing over ceremony of the Mass Houses, Shaningwa said that the Government have done a lot for the people “mostly in the informal settlements by upgrading and enabling the community to have access to basic services such as water, sewage rage facilities, electricity and housing. This commitment will still continue but a larger portion of our people in our urban areas do not have the decent housing and affordable housing”. Shaningwa further said that as long as land with basic services is not accessible and not affordable, a large portion of urban dwellers will continue to live homeless.
According to Shaningwa, the government have put money aside under the supervisory power of her ministry to see to it that land is serviced for the people “but we are going to service the land, not one night off and then we are done with the whole country, it is a step-by-step process.” It is through heavy financial investment by the central government that the houses have been handed over to the people and are available to the people. “At this juncture I am pleased to announce that the government have introduced subsidies applicable, only to the social houses to ensure that houses build under Mass Housing Development Program are affordable to the targeted group, the low income earners” said Shaningwa.
Shaningwa further said that after subsidies were introduced, a person earning at least N$2 700 will now be able to afford a house “but how many of us are earning N$2700? There are still some of us earning N$1000 or N$1200, what are we going to do with you? You are all citizens of this country and you also need shelter, now on this one the government says the subsidy by government should therefore be viewed as enhancing affordability and also as a socio-economic empowerment to the home owners and this is commendable effort by the government and is in line with the SWAPO party 2014 election manifesto, our NDP’s and our Vision 2030” adds Shaningwa.
According to Shaningwa, in terms of the Harambee Prosperity Plan that is being propagated by Hon. Hage Geingob, the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development is expected to deliver 6500 new residential plots, the ministry is also expected to eradicated the basket system from now towards March 2017, the construction of 50 000 rural toilets are on the list of the ministry goals over the five year Harambee period. “However the government cannot address the needs of the country on its own, hence the need to call all stakeholders to join efforts, to enable us to develop this country, we call on Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and this PPP’s should be people with a heart for the Namibian people. Not PPP’s who want to be millionaires overnight. People must make profits but they need to be reasonable” Shaningwa emphasized.
Shaningwa further urged the beneficiaries of the mass houses development program to pay what is expected of them because the government have introduced a revolving fund account which will be used for storing money paid back by the current beneficiaries of the houses. Ones it grows, the fund will then be used to service more plots and build more houses for the Namibian people said Shaningwa. Shaningwa warned the new home owners not to sell the houses during the first ten years of ownership and said if the people sell the houses the law will take its course, she also said she does not want to see any shacks build on these erven and encouraged home owners to extend their houses for their children and grandchildren.

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