Affordable housing will harm property prices‚ say Capetonians

Residents of two suburbs where the City of Cape Town wants to build affordable housing are worried it will drag down property prices.

Issuing the prospectus for the 11 sites on Friday‚ mayoral committee member for urban development Brett Herron said this had emerged as one of the key concerns in meetings with residents’ associations and interest groups in Woodstock and Salt River.

“Many letters” had also expressed concern about the effect the developments would have on the overall character of the neighbourhoods.

“The sites that we have identified for these developments are derelict‚ unused and an eyesore. We‚ together with the private sector‚ intend to invest millions of rands in these sites‚” Herron said.

“This investment will significantly contribute to the regeneration of Woodstock and Salt River in general‚ and will assist in halting the urban decay that has characterised certain parts of these neighbourhoods.”

Five of the 11 sites‚ which are all within 5km of Cape Town city centre‚ will be made available to the private sector for development.

Said Herron: “Developing prime land for lower-income residents in Cape Town is a momentous occasion. It marks a break with our apartheid past where poorer families are confined to the city’s fringes‚ far away from economic opportunities.

“We estimate that approximately 4 000 lower-income households – these are households with a monthly income of between R3 501 and R15 000 – will move into these units as they are completed and become available.”

Herron said the council wanted a mix of income groups in the developments so that “integrated communities” were created. “Another important aspect is that we want to see tenure-blind designs. Meaning‚ the housing units should be of similar design‚ quality‚ and architecture throughout the development‚ irrespective of the target market and income group.”

Bidders must submit their proposals for the sites by February 27‚ and the public will be able to vote for their preferred options.

“We have set a minimum requirement for the number of social housing units for each site. The use of alternative building material and green technologies is also encouraged. We must save water and electricity and reduce our impact on our natural resources as more people move to the city for a better life‚” said Herron.

“This is a long-term commitment. We need our residents‚ the private sector‚ and non-governmental organisations in the housing realm to support us.”

Public information days about the developments are being held on Friday‚ Saturday and Sunday at the Cape Town Science Centre in Observatory.

 

Source: TMG Digital.

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