People's Post

Housing project a step in the right direction

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Conradie Park’s first tenants moved in on Friday 4 February. PHOTO: supplied
Conradie Park’s first tenants moved in on Friday 4 February. PHOTO: supplied

Billed as South Africa’s first, fully integrated, mixed-income, mixed-use development, Conradie Park this month showed what can be achieved when the government, private sector and beneficiaries work together.

On Friday 4 February, the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape government (WCG), Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) and Concor Developments, with its social housing partner, Own Haven Housing Association, welcomed the first tenants of Conradie Park located at the old Conradie Hospital site in Pinelands.

The project, which is part of the City and partners’ plans to develop affordable housing opportunities in and near urban centres across the metro, comprises affordable subsidy rental and mortgage housing units. It also contains 530 financed-linked individual subsidy (FLISP) funded units – a subsidy for first-time homeowners that is administered by the WCG, working with the banking sector. This project contains South Africa’s first vertical FLISP development.

The City’s Mayco member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi said access to well-located, affordable housing in Cape Town is critically important.

“We need to do more and we need to do it faster. We need to do it together and this R3 billion project shows that we can do that. A municipality on its own cannot solve the human settlements crisis in South Africa. We need greater partnerships and innovation to tackle this,” Booi said.

Ndifuna Ukwazi, a group of activists that campaigns for justice and equality in poor and working-class communities, agrees that more needs to be done. Although the group described the delivery of 66 social housing apartments at Conradie Park as “a good start”, they said they remained concerned about the slow pace of delivery of various forms of affordable and social housing.

In a media statement released last week, Ndifuna Ukwazi said the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic had deepened spatial inequality and refocused the need for shelter and affordable housing for families in the Western Cape.

“There is an urgent need for the province to prioritise housing, particularly in well-located areas and economic centres. We hope this (Conradie Park) signals a commitment to releasing, packaging and developing other parcels of land for social housing, including the Tafelberg and Founders’ Garden sites,” the media statement read.

People’s Post first reported on Conradie Park two years ago (“Launch of Conradie Park”, 18 February 2020) after having attended the official launch of the project on 13 February 2020.

Once complete, the development will consist of 3 600 residential units, with schools, a retail centre and retail shops on the ground-floor of several of the social housing blocks.

According to the City, the first phase of the social housing blocks, comprising 432 units, will be fully tenanted “in due course”. Construction on the second phase, comprising 659 units, is earmarked to begin in March, “if all goes to plan”.

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