Minister of Urban and Rural Development Erastus Uutoni has charged the newly appointed National Housing Enterprise (NHE) board to rise to the occasion and to do everything within their power and competence to re-position and help the entity serves its purpose.
The board was inaugurated on Friday.
Namibia Civil Aviation Authority Executive Director Toska Sem has been appointed as the board’s new Chairperson, taking over from NamRa boss, Sam Shivute.
Hasting Tjipueya will serve as Deputy Chairperson, with RittaKhiba, Adda Angula, Erickson Mwanyekange, OshoveliHiveluah and Socrates Diasa also appointed to the board. They will take office on March 1.
“If you pull together as a team, united in purpose and desire to serve and to deliver, the task before you is achievable notwithstanding the many challenges that exist and crop up,” the minister said.
Uutoni expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the outgoing board members who were under the chairmanship of Sam Shivute for their contribution to the growth of NHE over the years.
He stressed that housing remains to be a crucial need and there is tremendous pressure to provide affordable houses especially in urban areas.
“Housing remains a compound subject and the pressure on urban areas is becoming ever more severe as demonstrated by rapidly increasing urbanisation rates over the last two decades,” he said, adding that adequate housing, provision of basic infrastructures and services remain to be the government’s priorities at all levels, whether central, regional or local.
“A national target to build 20,000 houses over a four year period was set and NHE was mandated to build 5,000 houses of the target. As part of Vision 2030 strategy, government has tasked the NHE to build 47,622 houses by the year 2030,” he explains.
According to the Minister, Namibia has a national housing backlog of over 300,000 housing units, with around 70% of the backlog being made up of low income categories (income below N$1,500) who cannot access credit from financial institutions.
Uutoni also highlighted some of the challenges faced by the NHE which are causing a slow growth of affordable houses such as resources and unavailability of serviced land.
Newly appointed Chairperson Sem says the new board will focus more on making NHE raise capital and explore alternative modes to finance affordable housing.
“The Covid-19 effects on the Namibian economy are real, therefore [the] Government of the Republic of Namibia is faced with more pressing challenges related to address education and health just to mention a few amongst the critical social sectors. It is with that understanding that government funding is limited,” she said.