Namibia, like most developing countries in the world, has experienced rapid urbanisation as people migrate to urban areas in search of employment and better prospects. In the three decades since independence, Namibia’s urban population has doubled from 27% to 54%. The population of the capital, Windhoek, alone has increased from 139,000 to 431,000 during the same period.

The rapid rate of urbanisation has exceeded the capacity of local authorities and the central government to provide services and housing for the ever-increasing informal settlements that have sprung up around urban areas throughout the country. More than 400,000 people live in informal settlements.

Access to land, basic municipal services and housing are among the government’s top national development priorities. The National Housing Policy provides the strategic and policy framework within which public and non-state entities are expected to undertake their housing development, financing operations and activities. The policy identifies key strategic challenges faced by the housing sector:

  • The capacity to deliver land and housing
  • Tenure security
  • Access and affordability
  • Integration of housing and service infrastructure
  • Financing the housing sector
  • Standards and service levels
  • Town planning and proclamation
  • Enabling environment
  • People’s housing processes

Housing was identified as one of three priority sectors by the cabinet in late 2020. Under the Economic Advancement Pillar of the Harambee Prosperity Plan II (HPPII) the government will accelerate the delivery of ultra-low-cost housing in various regions of the country to stimulate economic activity and ultimately boost the construction sector.

The HPPII has set a target of delivering 85,000 housing units countrywide by 2025 through the following public and private stakeholders: the National Housing Enterprise (NHE), the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF), the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia, Ongos Valley, regional councils, local authorities and other private sector developers.

An affordable housing initiative for ultra-low income earners among residents of six informal settlements in Windhoek was launched as a pilot project in the capital in July 2020. The target of the initiative, which aims to provide housing to the poor by keeping the cost of labour and material at a minimum, is to build 1,200 houses over a two-phase period. It will also be rolled out in other local authorities and regions.

Several large-scale housing projects have taken off during the past two years. The Ongos Valley housing project, launched in September 2018, is to build 4,500 houses north of Windhoek in the first five-year phase at an estimated cost of N$5 billion. A total of 28,000 houses will be built over the next two decades at this mixed-use development at a total cost of N$25 billion. It includes apartments, free-standing homes and single residential units as well as schools, malls and businesses. Ongos Valley is situated 14 km northwest of Windhoek’s central business district and has been described as a city within a city.


Osona Village, a mixed-use housing project near Okahandja, 65 km north of Windhoek, will consist of 10,000 houses for lower and middle-income earners, institutional buildings and a light industrial area. It will be built at an estimated cost of N$230 million. Large-scale housing projects have also been launched by several local authorities in other parts of the country.

Initiatives to accelerate the provision of public housing include transferring landhold title deeds to residents in informal settlements to provide security of land tenure. Under the Flexible Land Tenure System (FLTS), title deeds are registered free of charge instead of by a conveyancer at a considerable fee, as is the case with freehold registrations.

With regard to the provision of land the HPPII has set a target for local authorities, the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF), the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia, the Development Workshop and property developers to service 24,000 erven countrywide by the end of the HPPII period. The identified local authorities are Windhoek, Walvis Bay, Otjiwarongo, Gobabis, Eenhana, Ongwediva, Ondangwa, Oshakati, Grootfontein and Rundu.

The HPPII has set a target of proclaiming 84 townships with economic viability by the end of the HPPII period in 2025. It also makes provision for the establishment of an Urban Development Fund through bilateral cooperation with development partners to supplement funding for the delivery of serviced land and housing by 2022.


Minister Hon. Erastus Amutenya Uutoni


The Ministry is responsible for regional governance (Regional Councils) and local governance (Local Authorities) and therewith plays an important role in the decentralisation process of the Namibian government. The Directorate for Decentralisation Coordination of the Ministry is entrusted with the effective coordination and management of the process.