Communicare explains

2018-12-11 06:01

Following numerous complaints about the changes implemented by Cape Town social housing organisation Communicare, its CEO, Anthea Houston, explains the newly established private company called GoodFind Properties.

The company was launched in May this year and is expected to manage all units that are rented out at close to market rates for units in the surrounding neighbourhood­s.

Communicare is in the process of transferring the management, leasing and tenant engagement of some of its properties to the company.

Communicare has residences in areas including Thornton, Ruyterwacht, Brooklyn, Diep River, Rondebosch and Milnerton.

Houston says the profits from this company will be used to assist with the costs of the NPO.

“The establishment of GoodFind Properties strengthens our cross-subsidisation model so that we can continue keeping some rentals down even as costs increase­.

“We do this to provide dignified housing for more people in need,” Houston says .

“When compared to other rentals in the surrounding areas, 64% of our rentals are discounted above 30% and rentals start from as little as R700..

This approach allows Communicare to make a small contribution to the housing shortfall, complementing the efforts of government in the City of Cape Town, Houston says explains.

“ Our legal arrangements are similar to those used by other large non-profits in the country such as Nicro and the Johannesburg Housing Company.

“As a registered non-profit company, Communicare has no shareholders and all surplus funds are ploughed back into the organisation.

“Any surpluses made by GoodFind Properties will be used by Communicare to add more units and to cross-subsidise our discounted rentals which we will also market under distinct brands.”

Houston says that for decades, Communicare has used a social enterprise business model to allow them to offer some units at reduced rentals while other properties have no or lesser discounts.

Since the commencement of transfers, rent prices have undergone what tenants refer to as “exorbitant” increases.

They have voiced their concerns and even accused the organisation of corruption and inconvenience in properties affected by the renovations (“Allegations surface”, People’s Post, 27 October).

There is legal action underway involving an investigation into the organisation’s staff members, and tenants who have failed to pay rent since the complaints started in July have been taken to court by Communicare.

However, some of the cases have since been withdrawn.

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