The national housing backlog now stands at 100 000 units with an annual growth in demand of 3 700 units.
Addressing the media last week in Windhoek, the National Housing Enterprise chief executive officer, Vinson Hailulu said that their biggest stumbling block is the slow or even non-availability of serviced land.
Hailulu also said the housing backlog has been exacerbated by the overwhelming informal settlements in all urban centres in the country and the fact that more than 73% of Namibians do not have access to credit facilities offered by the financial service sector and consequently cannot afford to buy urban land and housing.
According to Hailulu, house prices have gone up largely because of high input costs and limited supply of housing stock and legislative, policy and regulatory constraints.
He said according to 2009/2010 Namibia Household and Income Expenditure Survey (NHIES) people living in shacks are less likely to have obtained further education than people living in decent housing.
“Only 12.2 % of people living in shacks have grade 12 education level or higher compared to 42.3% of people living in formal housing,” Hailulu noted in his speech adding: “Only 27.8% of people living in shacks have access to electricity, compared to 71.6% overall.”
He said the same survey shows that only about 41% of Namibians live in modern houses commonly found in urban areas.
Hailulu said despite all this, NHE has done quite a lot seeing that in Otjiwarongo alone 71 houses have been completed; Omuthiya has 30; Ongwediva has 215 plots and 215 houses; Okakarara has 27 completed houses; Gobabis has 30 plots being serviced and two plots are for flats; Rehoboth has 62 houses and 62 plots; Swakopmund has 232 plots and 268 houses; Walvis Bay has 316 houses, 22 Meersig plots, one plot for flats and 500 plots under plan; Opuwo has 70 completed houses; Oshakati has 245 plots and 245 houses; Eenhana has 37 flats, 292 plots being serviced and 62 completed houses; Ongwediva has 215 plots being serviced and 215 houses; Oshikuku has 20 completed houses; Outjo also has 20 completed houses; Arandis has 15 completed houses; Henties Bay has 140 plots; Omaruru has 140 houses; Keetmanshoop has 36 completed houses and 14 on unserviced land; while Luderitz has 79 completed houses and 300 serviced plots.
Hailulu said rentals for NHE houses vary from N$1500 per month to N$3 800 depending on the size. For example a bachelor pad is N$1500; a one-bedroom is N$2500 while a two bedroom is N$3800.
Those who want to buy, he said, can prepare to pay N$270 000 to N$340 000 for a two-bedroom house and N$345 000 to N$500 000 for a three bedroom house. These prices include the cost of land that is N$75 000.