Cape Town's first inner city transitional housing development

The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee has given the green light for its first inner city transitional housing project.

This move comes amid pressure on the city to bring more affordable housing closer to its CBD at a time when suburbs like Salt River‚ Bo-Kaap and Woodstock are seeing increased gentrification.

The homes will be built in Salt River on the corner of Pickwick and Copperfield roads.

Mayoral committee member for Transport and Urban Development Brett Herron said the proposal will commence as soon as the city gets the final go ahead from a full council meeting.

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 With the DA’s two-thirds majority in council‚ the proposal is likely to get the go ahead at Thursday’s full sitting.

“The development of the Pickwick site represents a new approach in terms of how the City intends to tackle the urgent demand for housing by those families who are displaced or evicted from their homes due to rapid development‚ among others‚” said Herron.

He was referring to an increased number of evictees who currently face the reality of being relocated to Wolwerivier‚ about 30 km away from town‚ due to gentrification.

The city has come under fire from affordable housing activists who are of the view that Wolwerivier and Blikkiesdorp — the two relocation areas for the city — are insufficient.

Last year as part of their campaign for housing for the families facing eviction from Bromwell Street in Woodstock the NGO Reclaim the City argued that all those facing eviction — in the area and in other parts of the city like Salt River — should be accommodated closer to those neighbourhoods.

Herron said when he took over his department in January this year the city “turned a corner” in its approach to affordable housing. Part of their undertaking was to provide safe‚ decent‚ and affordable temporary housing to those facing eviction. In addition he said they identify sites close to their work place or public transport.

 “The Pickwick Transitional Housing Project confirms our intent to honour this commitment. It is the first development to provide transitional housing in the inner city‚ and will be funded from the TDA’s Communal Residential Unit budget‚” he said.

The development will cost an estimated R11.1-million and will have 42 rooms with 85 beds.

 It will have communal bathrooms and kitchens‚ as well as access control to ensure the safety of those residing in the facility‚ said Herron.

“The facility will be developed on city-owned land. Once completed‚ a private non-profit agency will be contracted to manage the facility on behalf of the city‚” he said.

Herron said those who will be accommodated by the development will be asked to sign lease agreements and pay monthly rental they can afford while the permanent housing opportunities were being procured.

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