Alternative building materials could help make housing affordable housing

Houses built from alternative building materials can address the dire need for affordable housing in Namibia, Minister of Urban and Rural Development Peya Mushelenga has said.

Speaking at the launch of two demo houses made of Photovoltaic (PV) panels and concrete by Olute Housing Construction here on Friday, Mushelenga said the initiative could be the answer for low-income communities.

He called on companies in the construction industry to adopt the use of alternative building materials in order to address the challenge of affordable houses.

However, Mushelenga said there is a need to have the alternative building materials such as PV panels produced locally.

“This would reduce transport costs that add to house prices in order to fully assist low and ultra-low income groups,” the minister said.

At the same event Olute Housing Construction Managing Director Andreas Ngula said they came up with the idea of using alternative building materials three to four years ago to help address the housing shortage in Namibia.

“The aim here is at least to provide many families with conducive homes and make a little profit instead. What matters is people being able to buy houses,” he said.

Ngula noted that the building materials come from Austria, which affected the pricing and which meant the houses are not as affordable as they could have been.

“My team and other construction companies I invited were trained on how to use the unique building materials as I would like to see many of my fellow construction entrepreneurs use the opportunity,” he noted.