Luanda is bursting at the seams and there are simply not enough houses for everyone. In early 2009, President dos Santos pledged to build 1 million low and middle income homes by 2012, and several contracts have been signed with foreign companies to ensure that this goal is met.
The National Housing Institute (INH) is leading this campaign, dubbed ‘My Dream, My Home’, which is not limited to addressing just housing issues; the national program also integrates services such as health centers, hospitals, shopping centers, and schools.
According to Eugenio Correia, general director of the INH, housing is neither a privilege nor a choice; it is and it ought to be a right for Angolans. He also claims that the real housing deficiency is closer to 2 million, and that after completion of the first 1 million in 2012, the INH will continue on with its program to develop affordable housing.
|ANGOLA’S REAL HOUSING DEFICIENCY IS CLOSER TO 2 MILLION, MEANING THE 1 MILLION HOMES PROJECT IS JUST PHASE ONE OF A LONGER-TERM BUILDING PROGRAM|
The INH opened participation to the world, inviting foreign investors to join in its cause. In one specific project – Nova Vida, or New Life in Portuguese – a Chinese consortium has stepped in. The second phase of this project to build 2,562 new homes, kicked off in December 2009 with research and the consultation of companies operating in Angola, and in February 2010, the implementation of Nova Vida began.
Located in the municipality of Kilamba Kiaxi, some five miles away from downtown Luanda, the Nova Vida project includes over 12 miles of tarred road and nearly 15 miles of drinking water networks, and is expected to cost around $140 million and be completed next year.
An even larger project is underway, except this one is being executed in the provinces of Kwanza Sul, Bengo and Benguela. INH signed an agreement with the private Czech company Flexibuild to erect 8,000 new houses – in the first phase alone – at an estimated cost of $300 million. Both the INH and Flexibuild hope this opens doors to other Czech companies interested in investing in Angola.