Walvis Bay to construct 400 affordable housing units using alternative materials

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The Municipality of Walvis Bay in Namibia has resolved to have 400 ultra low-cost affordable housing units constructed with alternative building material. This is in order to accelerate the building process and ensure that people living in backyard shacks get descent homes, as well as the relocation of 1,200 residents of the Otweya informal settlement where scores of shacks were destroyed in a fire near the end of July.

The municipality has further put out a tender for the construction of about 200 of the 400 ultra low-cost houses at Farm 37 and 200 in the town’s Kuisebmond area. The municipality wants the houses completed by end of October 2020 with no toilets. It has indicated that it only plans to set-up communal portable toilets later.

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Low-cost affordable housing

The houses to be built at Farm 37 are part of the establishment of a new township. The proposed houses, according to the tender document, are structures measuring 7,4 metres by four metres, without ablution facilities, and should be built with alternative material readily available. However, the document did not specify what sort of material should be used.

According to Jack Manale, manager for housing and property at the town’s municipality,  construction materials will be determined by proposals from builders. “The tender is out, and once we receive the documents we will see what sort of materials are available on the market. It is a requirement in the tender document for whoever is tendering to explain what sort of materials are available on the market,” said Manale.

“Once we have received the document, then the council will see if it is SABS approved and banks can finance. There are some that banks approve, such as the foam bricks. It is not something that needs extra approval from the council,” affirmed Manale.

The municipality is planning to use alternative building materials despite the fact that they are not approved in terms of building regulations.