Novel strategy brings houses to the people

The housing department has devised innovative measures in the new housing strategy, Breaking New Ground, that seeks to address delivery in a comprehensive and sustainable way.

The housing department has devised innovative measures in the new housing strategy, Breaking New Ground, that seeks to address delivery in a comprehensive and sustainable way.

Housing MEC Nomvula Mokonyane said: "Not everyone wants to own an RDP house so we are moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach to a mixed-income and mixed-tenure approach.

"Quality and affordability is also of central importance. We strive to provide our citizens with homes that are sustainable, at a price they can afford," Mokonyane said.

"A pilot project is under way in Orlando East, Soweto, and Alexandra, where two-roomed backyard structures with a shower and a toilet are being built in an effort to reduce the housing pressures while also providing people with the right to choose" she said.

The Alexandra K206 development project will deliver 1760 low-cost houses, most with 2-bedroom units in their back yards.

The plan also includes the development of double-storey low-cost units.

This will increase densities, thereby housing more people closer to their workplaces and social amenities.

Another social housing programme in Alexandra is affordable rental units for single people.

The MEC said: "We are building 520 affordable and habitable units in secure neighbourhoods with services and access to facilities and jobs."

Mokonyane said that plans are going ahead to convert most government-owned hostels into affordable rental accommodation as well as to integrate them within communities.

The department has set up a rental tribunal to resolve disputes between tenants and landlords.

"We are improving services to the poor and stepping up our commitment to address the housing shortage while also working towards eradicating informal settlements by 2014," she said.

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