CONCEPT ENDORSED BY NIA ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
For many years Bob Mould Architects have been participating in the quest to solve affordable housing in Namibia. An analysis of current housing policies revealed the inadequacies of these policies to deliver housing solutions for the majority of Namibians.
According to the Namibia National Housing Policy, 74 % of the Namibian people cannot afford housing, illustrating the inability of current policies to address prevailing needs. Our research revealed that there should be a variety of products available for different income groups as current approaches through the provision of mass housing caters for only a certain income group, whilst the vast majority of those in most need of housing is not accommodated.
Sustainability is the key to the future where wealth creation through home ownership should be the bottom line approach. This can only be achieved through the provision of a diversity of affordable entry levels to housing. A wider range of design alternatives and house sizes would not only accommodate a bigger variety of household types, it will also offer a wider spectrum of house prices to allow more Namibians to enter into the housing market.
Current legislation should be reviewed to allow solutions which work rather than forcing a huge number of Namibians into informal housing as the only option available to them. Even though the Namibian Housing Policy expresses the need for innovation as a means to resolve housing issues, legislation remains a real stumbling block to innovation.
Instead of seeking savings in alternative building methods or building materials which only yield minor savings, new approaches to urban planning and efficient use of space holds the key to generate substantial savings.
Higher density will not only improve housing affordability, it will also produce more sustainable suburbs where the environment and the social wellbeing of occupants will be co-beneficiaries of enhanced urban planning.
On 27 February 2015, the Namibia Institute of Architects recognized house Onganda, Katatura, with an Achievement Award as a work of social importance, endorsing the prototype house as a meaningful concept to solve the pressing housing needs in Namibia.