Improved homes for the disabled

The Gauteng department of housing has announced that the quality of life for people with disabilities and those dependent on state help is set to improve substantially.

The Gauteng department of housing has announced that the quality of life for people with disabilities and those dependent on state help is set to improve substantially.

The department is currently building custom-made houses, which include specialised fittings and gadgets, as part of the special needs subsidy programme.

Under the programme, applicants with disabilities will now have houses that will meet their special needs.

The housing delivery to meet special needs is another dimension of the policy direction pursued by MEC for housing Nomvula Mokonyane.

The one-size-fits-all approach has been abandoned for a work with the people, not for the people strategy.

Housing applicants with disabilities would in the future be prioritised in the allocation of houses.

Mokonyane said: "The department has identified seven categories of people with disabilities for assistance.

"These are: interventions related to walking, hearing, loss of vision and partial or total loss of movement.

"Millions of rands have been allocated for variations on the existing-housing subsidy for the procurement of walking, hearing and visual aids to be fitted in houses as part of the housing norms and standards provision," Mokonyane said.

In addition to the standard allocation of a normal RDP house for an able-bodied person, additional variation amounts would mean the government will spend more for each house allocated to a person with a disability.

Mokonyane said: "The programme is already underway and the first phase is complete at Lakeside Proper in the Vaal, south of Johannesburg, where 197 houses have been rectified by state-owned agency Servcon Housing.

"The first phase involves restoring cracked walls, levelling floors and painting, while the second phase will move to renovate the houses for disabled beneficiaries."

"The programme seeks to restore the dignity of people by ensuring that structural defects due to shoddy workmanship are corrected, and special needs are addressed."

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