The Western Cape Government (WCG) in South Africa has revealed that its Social Housing pipeline consists of 35 projects which seeks to cater for over 5000 households, between now and the 2024/25 financial year. These opportunities, with an estimated cost of just over US $70m, are not limited to the Cape Metro, but will also see residents benefitting in non-metro areas, such as Mossel Bay, Worcester and Drakenstein.
In the City of Cape Town’s Inner City, projects are planned for Pine Road, Woodstock, Dillon Lane, Salt River and Founders Garden on the Foreshore. Feasibility assessments are underway on these projects.
Further to this, in the 2020/21 financial year the WCG demonstrated its commitment to creating Social Housing opportunities, where projects such as Regent Villas in Weltevreden Valley, Mitchells Plain, Anchorage in Glenhaven, Bellville and the Bothasig phase 3 developments, delivered a combined total of 562 units. For the 2021/22 financial year, the WCG is expecting the Social Housing projects of Anchorage, Bothasig phase 3 and Conradie Better Living Exemplar (“BLMEP”), phases 1 and 2, to deliver approximately 840 units.
The overall land cost, including the cost of preparation of land, within the City of Cape Town, is exponentially higher than in the suburbs where the existing Social Housing projects are located. In most instances the cost exceeds the allowances in terms of available grants. This necessitates all stakeholders to engage on alternative funding models to deliver the planned projects identified within the Inner City of Cape Town.
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Social Housing projects
These discussions are currently being held between the National- and Western Cape Departments of Human Settlements, the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) and respective Social Housing Institutions (SHI’s). Through these Social Housing projects, which are managed by an accredited SHI’s as legislated in the Social Housing Act of 2008, WCG is ensuring that households earning between US $105.35 – US $1,052.77 per month are able to obtain affordable rental or co-operative housing.
Not only is the rental payment for tenants in Social Housing projects way below market related cost, but these projects should be developed within Restructuring Zones which are basically areas that contribute to spatial, economic and social development. This further ensures other opportunities to beneficiaries.
The tenants do not own or have title of the units constructed under the Social Housing Programme, as it provides for permanent rental with recurrent affordable rental housing opportunities for current and future generations. Social Housing stock is guided and managed in accordance with a lease agreement between the institution and the tenant.
Tenants, keeping the qualification criteria in mind, remain eligible for further affordable housing ownership opportunities under other government housing programmes. These would among others include Breaking New Ground (BNG) and FLISP. Critical to this and if required is that potential beneficiaries should be registered on the municipal Housing Demand Database.
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