A Rehoboth-based construction firm has caused a stir among prospective homeowners after it introduced a low-cost housing plan to build houses anywhere in Namibia at a cost ranging between N$30 000 to N$100 000. The company says its N$30 000 to N$100 000 price tag for housing units comes with no hidden costs or the present high interest rates being charged on home loans. While the National Mass Housing Development project launched late last year is struggling to get out of the starting blocks, Hydraform Interlocking Solution says that it is ready to build up to 200 houses at a mind-blowing minimal cost and is also prepared to service the land, should they reach a private/public partnership agreement with the municipalities. The company claims that it can build a one-bedroom house of 55 square metres for N$30 000, a 86 square metres two-bedroom house for N$60 000, a three-bedroom house of 93 square metres for N$80 000 and a 115 square metres house of four bedrooms for N$100 000. Loan repayments start at N$250 for one-bedroom units to N$1500 for a luxury four-bedroom house with a geyser, ceiling, tiles, built-in cupboards and a one-and-a-half bathroom and anyone earning from N$1000 can qualify for a house. Marius !Kharigub, the Managing Director of Hydraform Interlocking Solution, says the project is not similar to some home owners schemes where money invested in the projects went missing or could not be accounted for. He said they have received over 4000 applications from interested parties in both urban and rural areas and maintains they will be able to meet the demand by sub-contracting to other builders in the construction industry. He boasted that his company has identified investors willing to go into private/public partnership (PPP) with local authorities should they have any difficulties in servicing residential land. "Local authorities must avail land, if they don't have the money, we can service the land," added the MD of Hydraform Interlocking Solution. !Kharigub said the main aim of the project is for people to regain their dignity by breaking barriers that impede homeownership for low-income groups that have been denied the right to own property for far too long. According to him through the project they intend to replace corrugated iron sheet structures in informal settlements with decent hydraform block houses and added that they started experimenting with the hydraform concept, which uses cement, clay and stone, ten years ago when they built a 36 square metres house in Rehoboth. He said in the past three years, they built sample houses in Witvlei, Tses, Aroab and Noordoewer, while they are busy constructing other sample houses in Groot Aub , Gobabis, Swakopmund, Tsumeb and Aroab. "We want the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to take cognizance of this project, so they can come in. Let's build our country together," he urged, maintaining that the building concept will bring down housing prices if government endorses the low-cost housing initiative. !Kharigub says the interlocking blocks building system greatly increases the speed of construction and the concept has also been extensively tested for structural strength and durability. He said so far they have tested the sand in ten towns to make sure it is the right type sand for making bricks. "All towns are right, Namibia is rich in sand and clay," he added. "Hydraform building technology is particularly popular in Africa's mining industry and provides a solution for replacing conventional brick and mortar masonry, although the basics of the conventional building system remain largely unchanged." Albert Weitz Jr of Namclay Bricks and Suppliers said he attended a conference in South Africa on the use of such technology and agrees it is much cheaper to build with clay bricks, hence the hydraform building concept. He said clay is also more durable and cheaper, since you do not need to plaster or paint after the building is constructed. Another advantage of the hydraform concept as opposed to cement, he said is that the former can absorb heat, which keeps the house almost at the same temperature during the winter and summer months. However, Weitz says Namibia lacks the expertise and knowledge in hydraform technology, while start-up costs are very high, unless the company using such a concept has the necessary materials and machinery at hand. He said Namibia also does not have the best clay deposits with only three clay factories in the country. He praised the hydraform concept as a system that is durable, because wear and tear is much lower and the bricks need to be wet when building which saves time.
Most Popular Stories
- Obama Administration Releases Proposal to Regulate For-Profit Colleges
- Apple, HP, Intel May Take a Hit from Slowdown in Smartphone Sales Growth
- Elizabeth Vargas' Husband Marc Cohn Addresses Rumors
- FDIC Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Banks Allegedly Hurt by Libor Scandal
- Keurig Adds Peet's coffee, Alters Starbucks deal
- Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx Marries Model Courtney Bingham
- U.S. to Relinquish Gov't Control Over Internet
- Chinese e-Commerce Giant Alibaba Gears for IPO in U.S.
- Some California Cities Seeking Water Independence
- Will Missing Malaysian Jet Prompt Aviation System Change?