South Africa’s mega housing project Aloe Ridge development in Westgate Grange has been opened with analysts counting on it to provide housing for low income earners.
The project, which was the brain child of non-profit organisation, Msunduzi Housing Association (MHA) and construction of Aloe Ridge began in November 2014 in an effort to provide much-needed reasonably-priced rental accommodation for the lower to middle-income earners in the area.
The $25.76m project has received funding from the Social Housing Regulatory Authority, KwaZulu- Natal Department of Human Settlements, National Housing Finance Corporation as well as Msunduzi Housing Association and aims to house about 4 000 people.
The development consists of 952 two-bedroom apartments in three-story walk-ups, separated into two villages. 287 among the 952 units will cater for households earning up to $255.5 per month and the balance of 665 units will cater for households earning up to $547.5 per month.
Each unit, approximately 45 square metres consists of an open-plan kitchenette, lounge, bathroom and bedrooms. The 14Ha site allows for large, open spaces and play areas for children. This is one of South Africa’s biggest social housing developments to be constructed entirely by Face brick.
Ivor Caldecott, chief executive officer of MHA says the projected date of completion is end of May this year. He also added that the development ‘s main aim is to cater for the huge housing demand for lower income households, since there aren’t enough competitive private sector initiatives ready to do so.
Aloe Ridge will create 500 jobs for unskilled laborers during the construction phase, as well as full-time, permanent employment for six general workers, six cleaners, six security guards, a housing supervisor, two letting agents and one rental administration position upon completion.
The opening of the project was officiated by President Jacob Zuma among other political dignitaries including Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala