‘Affordability’ definition should differ from city to city
1. Unlock potential bulk on existing sites;
2. Add 20% more apartments (these will fall under the more affordable houses) to the original scheme;
3. The planning and building costs, among others, of this 20% will now be subsidised by the now 80% of the total development.
Fataar says: “Rather than waiting on the formulation of a perfect policy, we need to lead with pilot projects and learn from projects that go beyond business-as-usual and feed these learnings into our policies.”
Blok’s 80:20 inclusionary housing model, Forty on L, is currently being piloted in Cape Town. Managing director Jacques van Embden believes it could provide a “ground- A HURDLE to the success of inclusionary housing delivery is the definition of “affordability”, which Future Cape Town’s Rashiq Fataar says needs to be refined.
“A blanket definition of affordable housing tends to be used but this definition does not reflect the price gradient of housing across cities.
“We need to define affordability in relation to the median income of an area as well as the median value per square metre. We cannot continue using the same breaking template for future inclusive development in the city”.
However, he says it is important to note the company’s model is low base for affordability for every area in a city.”
To illustrate this, he explains: “What do we mean by affordable housing in welllocated areas like the Cape Town CBD? While costs and interest rates increase per annum, no review is being done each year that broadens the classification of income bands in need of some form of assistance, be it through the public or private sector.
“We also need to acknowledge that cities in South Africa are different; for based on the perceived needs of the local market and therefore primarily caters for the middle-income market. example, land is much more expensive in Cape Town than other cities in South Africa, which has a significant bearing on levels of affordability.”
The City of Johannesburg defines “low-middle” as household incomes of less than R7 000 a month. Its inclusionary housing proposal stipulates that rentals, including levies, but excluding utility bills, like electricity, may not exceed R2 100 a month. The ceiling of R2 100 is based on 30% of a household income of R7 000.
Developers, says Emden, have a role to play in contributing towards a more integrated, diverse, and sustainable development trajectory.
Blok’s Forty on L development initially planned to provide urban apartments for the middle-income market using the 80:20 model. However, following extensive consultation with industry professionals and feedback from stakeholders, this was amended to a “one-forone”basis, which means that for every square metre of inclusionary housing added, the developer can add a square metre to the original scheme.
The City of Cape Town’s Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for Transport and Urban Development, says there is an obligation on the City and on the private sector to ensure the inner-city and other CBDs are accessible and affordable to those still living on the periphery.
Clear objectives and targets are needed to address apartheid spacial planning and develop inclusionary housing.