Hous­ing pol­icy plods on

Progress made, but two more years needed for in­clu­sion­ary plan to come into full force

Cape Argus - - METRO - MARVIN CHARLES [email protected]

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).

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