Space for 500 more

2016-10-13 11:39
Some of the damaged infrastructure across the city that has been left unattended to for long periods of time.

Some of the damaged infrastructure across the city that has been left unattended to for long periods of time. (Ian Carbutt)

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The multimillion-rand housing development in Westgate, near the Bisley Nature Reserve, is near completion, with almost 300 units ready to be handed over as early as next month.

The massive development has been named Aloe Ridge and, when completed, will house about 4 000 people in 952 two-bedroom units.

This is one of the Msunduzi Housing Association’s (MHA) biggest projects, with a price tag of R355 million.

Land for Aloe Ridge was donated by the Msunduzi Municipality in lieu of the 25 houses that were demolished next to the Liberty Midlands Mall.

Those houses belonged to the association, with the land being cleared to make way for the expansion of the mall.

MHA CEO Ivor Caldecott said he believed the development would help better the lives of many people.

“It is a solid, comfortable and safe living environment that is going to provide a platform for families to flourish,” he said.

Caldecott said this was the province’s largest social housing project and “we are very proud of our development”.

Of the 952 units, 287 will cater for households earning up to R3 500 per month, and the balance of 665 units will cater for households earning up to R7 500 per month. Each unit is approximately 45 square metres in size, and consists of an open-plan kitchen, a lounge, bathroom and two bedrooms.

The development sits on 14 hectares of land at the corner of Archie Gumede Road and the R56 to Richmond.

Caldecott said construction began in November 2014 and would be complete in April 2017.

“It is, however, envisaged that a first phase of about 300 handovers will take place from November 1 this year,” he said.

Caldecott said they received 400 approved applications for accommodation and urged viable candidates to apply to rent the properties.

“There are still around 500 opportunities for the public to apply for accommodation,” he said.

The total construction cost rounded up to R355 million, with R199 157 080 coming from the Social Housing Regulatory Authority, R96 152 000 from the Department of Human Settlements, and the balance from the National Housing Finance Corporation as a loan.

The construction of Aloe Ridge created around 500 unskilled jobs, but would create full-time employment for six general workers, six security guards, three housing supervisors, an administrative assistant, a client liaison officer, two rental administrators and a project/asset manager once operational.

“We believe we have produced the best unit possible within the confines of the current funding regimes, and with great consideration given to the affordability of our target market,” Caldecott said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  city development

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