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GIPF sets aside N$600m for housing

Mon, 19 September 2016 16:12
by Rodney Pienaar

The Government Institutions Pension Funds (GIPF) budgeted N$600 million for the construction of 6 000 housing units and servicing of 7 800 units of land in the first two years of a new housing programme.
The GIPF has set itself to construct 30% of the 20 000 housing units  envisaged under the national Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP),
According to the External Communication Officer of GIPF, Robyn Nakaambo, the funds that will be pumped into the initiative of constructing and servicing land for housing units will come from members’ pension contributions and returns generated from other investments in the past.
“We use third party unlisted investment managers who are skilled in financing housing units and land servicing. To keep the momentum, GIPF has decided to expand the mandate of some of the Special Purpose Vehicles who are already in partnership with the Fund on the existing unlisted investment programme,” Nakaambo said.
The Villager found that GIPF has also invested in housing acquisition by financing houses with N$750 million of which N$704 million was availed to housing for the benefit of 1 300 homeowners.
Some of the first houses to be constructed from the 6 000 funded by the GIPF will be constructed at the Osona village outside Okahandja.  
The housing development at Osona for now is exclusively for the men and women in uniform. While the GIPF received 1 500 applications only 400 houses will be build during the first phase of the project.
The GIPF intends to build around 11 000 houses at the Osona Village, which forms part of Okahandja.
According to the Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development (MURD), Derek Klazen, GIPF has set a good example for private corporate companies to come on board as housing is a national issue that not only needs to be funded by the state-owned companies or parastatals.  Housing sector need attention from all sectors, Klazen told The Villager.
“I will just urge private companies to come on board to fund the housing programs. This housing issue has been on the table since independence. The state will not be able to tackle the housing shortage in the country alone, which is why it is needed that private companies have to come on board. The housing issue is a national issue. Now that GIPF will fund the construction of 30% of housing units and land servicing we took a step ahead but there is still a lot to be done,” Klaazen said.
He urged Namibians to make a contribution towards construction industry in the country by starting companies that produce building material such as bricks. This, he said, will help the growth of the construction industry on the ground-level and it will help reduce unemployment rate in the country.