Mid-price housing in smaller towns crucial- Development Bank
Development Bank of Namibia’s Head of Lending, John Mbango said while the bank’s provision of finance for serviced land and affordable housing is contributing to adjustments of prices in the real estate sector and broadening the base of home ownership, concentration of housing in major centres poses a challenge to development of economic activity which must be addressed.
Mbango, who was speaking at the ground breaking ceremony for 112 erven in Katima Mulilo explained that the core of the challenge lies in migration of managerial and professional staff and skilled labour to larger centres.
He added that the influx of managers and skilled labour places a degree of strain on larger centres, especially if employment is not readily available.
“At the same time, the migration of the employee from the smaller centre deprives the town of a potentially valuable resource. The employee is a centrepiece of the enterprise or for public service delivery. The loss of the employee reduces enterprise capacity and/or delivery of services, may delay enterprise growth and may also have an impact on retention of jobs,” Mbango said.
Mbango stated that the construction of affordable housing may attract skilled employees to the smaller town, strengthening capacity and enabling growth, adding that the Development Bank strives to provide finance for serviced land and affordable housing in all the regions of Namibia, and has a particular interest in regions with lower levels of economic activity.
Talking about the Katima Mulilo project, Mbango said that the bank sees the project as an investment in the future of Zambezi and the town of Katima Mulilo.
He further called on developers, local authorities and private-public partnerships to approach the bank for finance.