Housing to open

2017-04-04 17:19

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Cape Town, in its entirety, may be declared a restructuring zone to aid the rollout of affordable housing.

Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport, announced last week that the City of Cape Town has informed national and provincial government of the intention to declare Cape Town a restructuring zone.

“There are ample opportunities for affordable housing in many areas across the city, and the development and availability of affordable rental accommodation in central areas of the city must play a key role in the future development of Cape Town,” says Herron.

However, the City cannot get access to social housing grants from national government unless the housing land is in a restructuring zone, Herron explains.

By declaring the entire city a restructuring zone, the City can easily go ahead with any plans for low-cost housing, he says.

Restructuring zones came under the spotlight following the sale of the Tafelberg property by provincial government. Lobby groups had called for the site to be developed into affordable housing instead of sold to the Phyllis Jowell Day School.

One of the reasons given for not approving the development of affordable housing at the Tafelberg site in Sea Point is that it is not within a restructuring zone, and as such not eligible for state subsidy (“Tafelberg site goes to school”, People’s Post, 28 March).

The provincial cabinet has decided to go ahead with the sale, but has identified other sites for affordable housing, such as the Helen Bowden Nurses’ Home property on Granger Boulevard and the old Woodstock hospital site.

The Helen Bowden property also falls outside a restructuring zone, but it is hoped a financial model may be possible given the size of the property.

The City’s restructuring zones were approved in 2010 through the Social Housing Act. There is currently uncertainty about whether “central business district and surrounds” includes areas like Sea Point, Herron says.

“In an effort to remove any uncertainty, we are proposing to extend our restructuring zones, subject to the Western Cape government and the national minister’s approval, so that no area is excluded in future.

“Once completed, it will enable the City to develop any suitable land within the city’s boundaries for affordable housing ­opportunities.”

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