Housing policy plods on
Progress made, but two more years needed for inclusionary plan to come into full force
IT WILL take two years before the City’s Inclusionary Housing Policy comes into full force. The City said that it would be commencing a feasibility study in January next year.
Mayco member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi said: “Policies by their very nature need to have a consultation process. We have not moved at the pace we had hoped for, but progress has been made.”
Booi said that after the feasibility study had been conducted, policy drafting could commence in July 2020.
“We will look carefully at the financial feasibility of such a policy intervention as we need to ensure that development can thrive and that we adequately incentivise the private sector, as this policy would be successful only if it makes economic sense for developers,” Booi said
Booi bowed to public pressure after the Municipal Planning Tribunal gave the nod for an exclusive R14 billion development on the Foreshore in October. The move ignited calls from social housing activists for the City to make a plan quickly for the implementation of its Inclusionary Housing Policy.
“Inclusionary housing implementation should not be viewed as the free provision of housing by the private sector. It would also not produce affordable homes at scale, but the spatial justice imperative must be considered. The private sector development of affordable housing products will also increase the supply of this muchneeded type of accommodation,” Booi said. It is foreseen that the policy will be implemented in 2021.
In August this year, the City committed to drafting an inclusionary housing policy that would increase the number of residential units in the inner city and other well-located areas for families earning between R3500 and R18 000 a month.
Social housing advocacy group Ndifuna Ukwazi welcomed the City’s move.
“The timing is questionable but it is vital for the City to get this process right. Of course, more needs to be done, but we view this as heading in the right direction,” said attorney Jonty Cogger.
The executive director of the Development Action Group (DAG), Aditya Kumar, raised some concerns on the time frame of the implementation of the policy. “This doesn’t look like it will be ending very soon. There should be clear time frames and some sort of bold stance from the City to curb developers. A feasibility study is a vital step when it comes to a policy like this,” he said.
Meanwhile, the MEC for Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers, said that the delivery of housing opportunities to the most vulnerable, deserving and needy, remained his top priority.
Simmers said: “There are two main sources of funding used for human settlement development in the Western Cape. The Urban Settlement Development Grant and the Human Settlement Development Grant.”
In the Western Cape, and for the 2018/19 financial year, an amount of R1.484bn was allocated to the City of Cape Town (the City).