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The City of Windhoek has admitted that land invasions in the capital in 2021 have been some of the worst in years and said that political leadership needs urgent intervention to normalize the situation.

According to the meeting minutes held on 26 October, the council approved the approach of ‘controlled entry to the informal settlement areas’ to enforce a zero-tolerance to land invasions in Windhoek.

The council also approved the establishment of a temporary relocation centre in Otjomuise to serve as temporary accommodation for beneficiaries of the Affordable Housing Programme while their houses are under construction.

The Affordable Housing is a project between the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, the Municipality of Windhoek, the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) and Khomas Regional Council, which aims to construct 1200 affordable housing units for the benefit of ultra-low and low-income residents in six identified informal settlements in Windhoek over 24 months from July 2020 to June 2022.

The relocation centre will also serve as an emergency shelter in case of emergencies or disasters in line with the Development and Upgrading Policy.

The centre will address some of the challenges faced in constructing affordable housing units under the Affordable Housing project, including confined working space due to the location of some plots and the need to relocate households to alternative sites whilst construction is underway.

The project will use the proposal for an emergency shelter development developed by the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in 2008 for flood victims but was never implemented. The proposal was developed under the Memorandum of Understanding that two institutions signed.

The waiting list for prospective purchasers and tenants and the 2014 mass land applications in Windhoek were approved.

The applicants’ current manual or file-based database will be converted into an electronic database system and published on the City of Windhoek’s website for public access.

Once the list is made public, stakeholders will be requested to update their records.

They will also be allowed to submit objections to names on the list on the basis that a person appearing on the list already owns or owns property in Windhoek or is the holder of a valid lease with the City of Windhoek. The allocation of land to people on the waiting list, as and when available, will be done in strict accordance with the waiting list.

Affordable housing policy

Council has approved the Affordable housing policy, which will govern all affordable housing activities and processes within the municipal Council of Windhoek.

The objectives of the police are to:

  • Provide the lower-income beneficiaries within the City with total housing solutions in accordance with their levels of affordability.
  • To ensure residents obtain security of tenure.
  • To establish acceptable housing typologies for various income categories.
  • To facilitate access to credit/loan facilities for purchasing a house.
  • To promote a safe and healthy built environment through decongestion.
  • To continually research housing construction methods and technologies.

Julia Heita

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