Cape Argus

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).

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