Tackling SA’s housing and homelessness crisis through affordable housing innovations

Issued by Emma Louise Powell MP – DA Shadow Minister of Human Settlements
07 Apr 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite by Emma Louise Powell MP.

The DA is proud to release our policy on housing and housing-related urban development, which we believe brings innovative solutions to tackling South Africa’s housing and homelessness crisis.

Currently, the country face a severe backlog in providing housing or affordable housing options to the population, despite the over 3 million units that have been built and handed-over since 1994. With an estimated 13 million people living in informality, a backlog of 2.1 million housing units, and homelessness and joblessness ever increasing, the crisis is a ticking bomb. Sadly, outside the Western Cape, there seems to be very little genuine innovation in housing.

One of the DA’s key innovations, which is now being implemented to great success in the Western Cape, is our focus on providing affordable housing.

People from income brackets that have previously been excluded from ownership opportunities, either because they do not qualify for government housing or because they do not earn enough to qualify for mortgages, now have various options available to purchase affordable homes.

While the DA recognises that many people need government’s help to access housing, satisfying the growing need now requires partnership from a range of government departments, as well as the private sector. This must be underpinned by a variety of innovative housing options and the availability of smart, environmentally friendly and cost-effective building typologies.

The DA also aims to address legislative concerns in coming months:

  • The national Housing Act needs to be amended to address the current 8 year prohibition on selling government subsidised houses. This Act makes it illegal for recipients of subsidised houses to trade up or leverage their asset to generate capital. This bizarre restriction must be removed.
  • We will also address the scourge of illegal land grabs by tabling an amendment to the Prevention of Illegal Evictions Act, which permits for expropriation of property without compensation, and allows land grabbers to jump the housing queue.

Without innovative solutions, South Africa will continue down this dangerous road.

Everyone deserves to live in houses and communities that provide them with dignity and safety. The DA’s new policy will go a long way to ensuring this.