IPPR To Undertake Review Of Housing Policy With Support Of German Government

IPPR Namibia - the Right to Housing Enlarge image Ambassador Schlaga with Graham Hopwood and Dietrich Remmert (© German Embassy Windhoek)

On 25 April 2017 the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Namibia, Christian Schlaga, signed an agreement with IPPR, represented by its director Graham Hopwood, on their project, titled 'Namibia - The Right to Housing', which aims to assess the effectiveness of Namibia's housing policies and to make recommendations for improvement in policy design and implementation. The Federal Republic of Germany supports this human rights project to the tune of 612.000,00 N$.

This project will undertake a comprehensive review of housing policy and delivery in Namibia focusing on government housing initiatives as well as non-governmental and commercial low-cost housing projects.

The right to adequate housing is recognised in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The right to housing is also enshrined in the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. Furthermore, housing is an issue identified in Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals which concerns: ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’.

After independence in 1990, the Namibian government identified Housing as a priority area of development, along with Education, Health and Agriculture, leading to the creation of a National Housing Policy. More recently, government has embarked on a National Mass Housing Initiative. Improved access to serviced land and housing is a key outcome envisaged in the Harambee Prosperity Plan adopted in 2016.

The IPPR's research project will seek to complement government's poverty eradication efforts. Housing policy is an important tool for tackling poverty as it has a direct impact on people’s welfare through improving general living conditions and health.

At present, only limited publicly available data and in-depth research regarding housing in Namibia do exist.

The proposed project will address this deficiency by: 

  • Making available detailed, well-researched and objective quantitative and qualitative data on housing to policymakers, private sector, civil society and the public at large
  • Creating an informed, public dialogue regarding the housing challenges and opportunities facing Namibia
  • A research report on 'Namibia - The Right to Housing' will be published before the end of 2017. The project builds on previous research on housing policy carried out by the IPPR in 2011.

The IPPR is a not-for-profit think tank with a mission to deliver independent, analytical, critical yet constructive research into social, political and economic issues that affect development in Namibia. The IPPR was established in the belief that free and critical debate based on quality research promotes development.

Germany continues to campaign assiduously for human rights around the world. The Federal Foreign Office supports some 120 to 140 projects of varying sizes each year around the world in emerging and developing countries in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and Eastern Europe.

IPPR Namibia - the Right to Housing Enlarge image Ambassador Schlaga with Graham Hopwood during the signing of the agreement. (© German Embassy Windhoek)