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Windhoek Mass Houses in Namibia Still Empty: A Question for Urban Planners or Decision Makers?

Matti Teemus Kapewasha, Idda Lyatonga Swai


Delivering housing to low- and middle-income groups is seen as providing basic services to the citizens although it remains to be a big challenge especially in developing countries. Despite various housing initiatives by the government and non-governmental organizations, the housing sector faced a number of challenges which require policies and action plans to combat housing crisis in Namibia. The study investigated why the mass houses were constructed in the City of Windhoek and the reasons contributed to delay the allocation of mass houses. Primary and secondary data collection methods were used whereby in-depth interviews and documentary review were used. The participants were selected purposively based on their experience and experts. The findings showed that the mass houses were constructed in city of Windhoek to reduce informal settlements taking into account the large number of housing beneficiaries in the city of Windhoek and the urbanization which have led to housing crises. In addition, land availability in the city of Windhoek contributed to the decision to construct the houses in the city.  The study further found that the allocation of the houses delayed because the construction of the houses did not go hand to hand with the connection of basic services such as water and electricity, bureaucracy in decision making, price hiking and loan approval taking long time. The paper recommends that the responsible authority to allocate more fund to the housing department to facilitate connection of other services and reduction of price of mass houses for the target group to afford and achieve the ultimate goal of the project

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