Windhoek, 27th March 2015 – Over 30 Namibian government officials, policy makers, members of parliament and councilors last week attended a workshop where they were trained on housing the poor. The three day workshop was organised by UN-Habitat together with Namibian Association of Local Authority Officers (NALAO), the Polytechnic of Namibia, Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) and Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG). The training was drawn from Quick Guides for Policy Makers: Housing the Poor in African Cities series.

The workshop included training sessions on all of the eight themes of the Quick Guides, a site visit in Windhoek, and action planning for the future. Participants were drawn from the central government, local governments from different parts of Namibia, from academia and from community-based organizations and NGOs. The workshop came at an opportune time given the ongoing mass housing programme being undertaken by the Namibian Government, offering alternatives on how to integrate residents in locally based housing solutions.

The participants were very engaged and felt that housing is very important in Namibia at the moment. "UN-Habitat is pleased to launch the Quick Guides and the accompanying training materials in Namibia and to work together with such committed and dedicated professionals', said Claudio Acioly, head of the Capacity Development Unit at UN-Habitat.

UN-Habitat team met with the Directorate of Housing of the recently renamed Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and UNDP as well as NALAO and Polytechnic of Namibia about further enhancing the coverage of housing policies and strategies in the country. These eight Quick Guides booklets provide policy makers and practitioners as well as community-based organizations with easy-to-read and clear information on pro-poor housing strategies.

The series covers the following themes: urban Africa, low-income housing, land, eviction, housing finance, community-based organizations, rental housing and local government. The Quick Guides are available in both English and French. UN-Habitat has developed training materials and the Training Facilitator's Guide to accompany the Quick Guides series, which can be used to train policy makers in different African countries.

This workshop marked the first time the training materials were used in full. This set of training materials will soon be available freely on UN-Habitat website. Users, trainers, training institutions and universities will be able to have at hand a basic resource to be tailored to their needs and situations. The project has been made possible through financial support from the Cities Alliance.

Namibian policy makers benefit from a workshop on housing the poor1