Informal housing needs to be addressed

Obstacles to sustainable development

24 July 2020 | Economics

The number of people living in substandard housing in informal settlements is on the increase, due to unaffordable land. Aletha Frederick, Governor: ||Kharas

Keetmanshoop mayor Gaudentia Kröhne said in a sense, informal housing is one of the most serious obstacles to democracy and sustainable development.

The mayor made these remarks at the official site handover for the construction of 77 National Housing Enterprise houses on Wednesday.

“I believe that allowing our people to continue dwelling in sub-standard living conditions erodes the sound foundation of civil society, it derails maximum self-esteem and badly impacts on health conditions of our people thereby impeding sound social and economic development,” said Kröhne.

She said allocating standardised housing to all residents is difficult for any town to achieve and the provision of low-cost housing is a national issue and the search for ways to tackle this has resulted in many initiatives being taken by various ­stakeholders at different levels.

“We should take further steps to ensure that sub-standard living conditions do not survive our collaborative efforts to eliminate it. I give my assurance that the Keetmanshoop local authority is willing to align itself with all development agencies to reinforce our fight against sub-standard housing by accelerating the land delivery and developing process,” she said.

Effective solutions

She said the municipality's active involvement and contribution to all developmental projects will be of vital importance in seeking effective and practical solutions towards providing proper housing structures in Keetmanshoop.

Also speaking, //Karas governor Aletha Frederick said housing is linked inseparably to health, emotional wellbeing, family financial security and economic flexibility.

She added that safe and secure housing connected to opportunity should not be treated as a market commodity as it is a basic human need, a right and a cornerstone of a prosperous and inclusive society.

Namibia needs to have a robust and effective housing delivery programme where affordability is the key piece of the programme, she stated.

“Despite national intentions to enhance housing infrastructure, the number of people living in substandard housing in informal settlements is on the increase, due to various factors such as lack of affordable land, limited disposable income, poverty and exclusion from conventional home loan facilities,” Frederick added. - Nampa