Properties identified by City of Cape Town for low-cost housing

18 July 2017 - 16:15 By Aphiwe Deklerk
Image: Cape Town Tourism shot by Craig Howes

The City of Cape Town said it has identified 10 properties in the central business district and nearby suburbs for affordable housing development.

This announcement comes amid heightened pressure from residents who are facing evictions in suburbs including Woodstock‚ Salt River and Bo-Kaap due to gentrification.

The demand for housing in Cape Town‚ especially closer to the inner city‚ have skyrocketed as more people push to live closer to the CBD where they work.

Herron said the 10 sites are in the city centre‚ Salt River and Woodstock. In addition he said the city was also going to develop its first ever inner city transitional housing project in Salt River.

“The proposed development of the Salt River site is only the first; there are more transitional housing projects in the pipeline – in Salt River‚ as well as in other areas in Cape Town‚” he said.

Herron said the city will also issue a prospectus for the development of five sites in the city centre‚ Woodstock and Salt River in the next two months.

“We want these developments to offer a mixture of affordable housing typologies‚ including social housing‚ combined with market-related housing for those who can pay‚” he said.

He said the city will also encourage mixed-use development which would be a combination of residential‚ retail and commercial units‚ so that the business units can cross-subsidise the affordable housing units to ensure long-term sustainability.

“The dire need for housing for Cape Town’s most vulnerable households is the single biggest challenge we are facing as a local government today‚” said Herron.

He said the city estimates that approximately 650‚000 families earning less than R13‚000 a month will rely on it for some kind of assistance for housing between now and 2032.

“Furthermore‚ our task is exacerbated by the unprecedented growth in the property market in areas close to key nodes of employment‚ and along public transport routes‚” he added.

He said the city had to mitigate against the displacement of residents‚ especially tenants in rental properties‚ who have lived their entire lives in suburbs like Woodstock and Salt River where high-end developments are rising at a rapid pace.

Herron was addressing an Affordable Housing Africa conference held in Cape Town on Tuesday.

His address was marred by controversy as members of the Reclaim the City campaign and people facing eviction in Woodstock gatecrashed the conference demanding that Herron address them first.

The fracas was resolved 30 minutes later when it was agreed that the protesters be let inside the venue on condition that Herron would address their concerns after his speech.