Affordablehousing progress

2018-03-06 06:00

Details of a planned affordable housing development were recently revealed in a report to subcouncil 16.

The report deals with the proposed development of the Salt River Market site for the provision of affordable housing. This site is in Albert Road, less than 5km from the CBD and Voortrekker Road, and is close to public transport, social amenities, schools, hospitals and job opportunities.

In an article published last year (“Housing in sight”, People’s Post, 29 August) the City was quoted as saying that Salt River Market was among the sites that would be developed soon and that it had been allocated to Communicare. Communicare indicated interest in partnering with the City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) in the proposal. TDA officials presented the proposal to the subcouncil on Monday 19 February. According to Brett Herron, the Mayco member for transport and urban development, this was well received.

This is one of the developments expected to expedite the provision of affordable housing on well-located land close to work opportunities and public transport.

Herron explains that the Salt River Market site is approximately 1.4 hectares in size and will accommodate a mixed income by providing rental units for households with a monthly income of between R3500 and R20 000, as well as retail and office space.

He says at this stage it is difficult to anticipate the designs and budget and they are still in the beginning stages of their planning.

“High-density development was the preferred submission. The design of the proposed development is still in an early concept stage and it is proposed to consist of market-related residential units for rental, units for rental to students or single young professionals, social housing units, retail space and parking. It is envisioned that the proposed development will provide approximately 850 residential rental units inclusive of the market-related and social housing units and about 2000m2 of retail space,” says Herron.

No public participation has taken place as yet and Herron says they are likely to engage with the affected communities later this year.

“Information about the proposed development will be made available to the public during a public viewing period in the vicinity of the site so that the residents can see what is being proposed and to enable them to comment and make proposals.”

However, there remains uncertainty among those who are in need of affordable housing.

It is reported that the City has offered to temporarily accommodate them at identified relocation areas such as Blikkiesdorp and Wolwerivier.

Resident Faghmeeda Ling says: “The council’s Brett Herron assured us the building of 4500 structures in Wolwerivier was off, but they are now telling us that Wolwerivier is the only alternative accommodation for us, leaving us with unanswered questions as to whether the planned building of social housing in all the 11 identified areas in and around the Woodstock and Salt River areas includes us as underprivileged residents?”

She says the processes are taking too long and are frustrating for them, as they are already facing eviction.

Jared Rassouw of the Ndifuna Ukwazi activist organisation says: “Mixed-income developments are good, but we must ensure that enough affordable homes are included for a range of incomes, especially for people earning as low as R1500 per month. We need hundreds of new developments just like this in the inner city alone to build an inclusive and just city where everybody has access to good services and opportunities in life.”

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