Namibia Incremental Housing I

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Focus Areas: Housing

This community-driven project provided capital funds for the construction of incremental housing in informal settlements across Namibia. Nine (9) savings groups in four (4) regions were supported to build one hundred and thirty-three (133) houses. Construction began in March 2010 and all houses were completed by June 2011.

Location: Hoachanas, Tangi, Mpungu and Kamajab, Usakos, Rehoboth, Keetmanshoop and Omaruru, Namibia


133 houses were constructed in the following settlements:

  • Mpungu (Rundu) –  15 houses, no services connected
  • Ada go goagu (Usakos) – 16 houses, services connected
  • Ditsa da ra  (Rehoboth) –  7 houses, services connected
  • Otjikango (Rivatera Umune phs 1 & 2 and Kondja Kondja) – 49 houses, no services connected
  • Ondunge (Ovitjete) – 1 house, no services connected
  • Litoragwira (Nkurenkuru) – 14 houses, services connected
  • Ditlahbololo  (Aranos) – 14 houses, services connected
  • River Group (Omaruru) – 17 houses, service connected

Community capacity:

Federation members in the various areas acquired technical skills, which were fostered through exchanges and skills workshops. These skills include: reading building plans; building materials procurement; construction techniques (including brick-making), and; the installation and maintenance of water and sewerage systems.


The Namibian Federation has developed an incremental approach to accessing land, housing and infrastructure. This approach allows their housing process to be gradually scaled up. The savings group retains freehold ownership of land acquired with each member of the group receiving a plot. The rights and obligations of each group member as well as stipulations on who will inherit individual plots are clearly delineated in an agreement to avoid conflict(s). Water and Sanitation connections to bulk infrastructure (supplied by local authorities) are only made when it is agreed amongst the groups that an individual can afford the loan required.


In Omaruru the relationship between the Federation and Local Authorities is on the point of being formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). In Ohangwena, the Local Authority provided land for the Federation to build more houses.

Furthermore, political recognition was attained in 2010 when the government trebled its annual subsidy allocation to the Namibian Alliance from NAD1,000,000 (US$73,074.70) to NAD3 000 000 (US$219,345.06).

SDI Contributions:

US$ 200,000 (current value NAD2,736,531.98)

Resources Leveraged:

A number of City Authorities accepted that a pre-sale agreement could be signed in cases where the Surveyor’s office is causing delays in the final registration of land.This agreement means that housing development can take place with repayments going directly towards the cost of land and not being accounted for as rental payments. In addition to this, Usakos Municipality has provided sand and soil for Hydraform brick construction at reduced rates.

State Subsidy:

As noted in the impact section (as well as in relation to all Namibian Projects) Government provides a subsidy of NAD3,000,000 (three million) per annum for housing construction. Since the Namibian Alliance builds more houses than these funds allow for SDI finance is used in this project as bridging capital.

Market Generated Returns:

None to date

Costs recovered from community:

US$79,032 was repaid by all groups involved in this project, which then revolved through the Twahangana Fund to support construction projects in the following regions:  Hardap Region, Karas Region, Khomas Region, Omusati Region, Otjozondjupa Region, Oshikoto Region and Oshana Region.

Anna Muller (+264) 61 239 398 View Website
Project social media channels:

Project information updated: 13 October 2015

Project in depth

Detailed Information

The Namibian Alliance and its Twahangana Urban Poor Fund have been in operation since 1997. They have assisted Federation members access approximately four thousand (4,000) houses across Namibia. Outlined below are the structures of the Federation and how housing projects are managed by the Federation.

In preparation to access land and housing, each Federation member is required to complete a survey providing their basic information. This document, alongside a current payslip, copy of savings group members identity documents and the savings group's constitution is handed in together with a land application form. These documents are reviewed by the Federation’s regional leadership structures.

Each savings group elects a Loan Committee who approves loans within the group. At a larger scale the network Loan Committee ensures that loans are approved in accordance with the Federations rules and guidelines. The work of the loan committee is to assess whether members can actually afford the loans that they are requesting and to hear how they plan to use the funds. Loan Committee members note that this work can be challenging at times as members do not always agree with their advice.

Groups also elect building teams that are active during the housing construction process conducting site visits to check on progress and quality. They also ensure that the correct building plans are submitted to council and approved. Once the plan has been approved the group will get quotations for building materials and discuss the best options collectively. The money is then given as a loan to the group(for those who qualify to build) but transferred directly to the building suppliers who will deliver the building materials. Construction can then begin.

Exchanges promote learning throughout this process, as is noted in this and the other Namibian project descriptions.


Incremental housing for a 133 households across Namibia.

Community capacity:

Federation members were upskilled with respect to materials procurement, technical building skills (e.g. brick making) and, financial and project management.


At the local level it is hoped that the Federation’s ability to deliver housing opens up space for negotiations with authorities in order to access further land. Nationally it is hoped that this project will influence the Mass Housing Policy to include the Namibian Alliance.


See scale above.


SDI Contributions:


Resources Leveraged:

SDI funds will act as bridging or “top-up” capital for Government’s annual “Build Together” subsidy allocation to the Namibian Alliance as the Alliance, on average, builds more houses per year than the Government’s subsidy allocation provides for.

Costs recovered from community:

The repayments are put into a revolving fund, in order to finance other construction projects in the country.

SDI. (2004). Assessment of the Twahangana Fund. [Online]. Available:

Funding Information



Implementing Partners

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Shack Dweller's Federation of Namibia (SDFN)

Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG)

The Rockefeller Foundation