WALVIS BAY – Minister of Urban and Rural Development Peya Mushelenga says access to affordable serviced urban land and housing remains a key challenge.
He noted that government takes cognisance of the fact that many Namibians are still without land and decent shelter, hence the working around the clock to address the challenge.
Mushelenga was speaking at the official opening of the three-day high level consultative retreat organised by his ministry for governors, mayors and local authority chairpersons to address the challenges faced by stakeholders in terms of service delivery and the provision of affordable housing and land.
The minister said that access to affordable serviced land and housing is a global problem, especially in developing nations where the majority of the populations are not able to buy serviced urban land or houses due to high market prices.
“The ministry for this reason embarked on addressing these challenges through massive urban land servicing and mass housing development initiatives. However, these programmes call for the involvement of both the public and private sector,” he added.
Mushelenga said the government would continue providing budgetary support to regional councils and local authorities to service land and develop other basic services to keep up with the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) and national development targets.
“ I recognise the important role being played by community-based housing initiatives such as the Namibia Housing Action Group, Shack Dwellers Federation and other similar initiatives in complementing government efforts in financing and facilitating the construction of affordable housing for our low-income earners,” Mushelenga informed delegates.
He said the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development will continue to work with and support these community-based housing groups as they all complement government’s goal in providing affordable dignified housing to all Namibians.