Public participation processes approved for central city social housing projects

29 May 2022 in Where We Govern

Council has approved the commencement of the public participation processes for more than 700 social housing units in the central city area. The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi visited the proposed sites in central Cape Town. Public input and partnerships are key thrusts of social housing developments.

‘The proposed Newmarket Street land release in central Cape Town includes about 365 mixed-market units and 165 social housing units. The Pickwick property in Salt River comprises a 1 800 unit development, proposed to include some 600 social housing units. All necessary public participation and due processes will be followed.

‘The City currently has more than 6 500 social housing units in the overall pipeline across 50 land parcels citywide. This includes 2 000 social housing units in the central Cape Town area, and a further 2 500 opportunities – either in the construction phase or close to it – along the Voortrekker Road Corridor and near important economic nodes.

‘This is an exciting time for us. Our plans of building Cape Town together are coming along and there is the will and great desire for real action and delivery, despite the heavy regulatory environment that we are operating in. The City is doing everything in its power to expedite processes,’ said Councillor Booi.

The City’s recently launched Land Release Programme is a priority programme of Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis. In building Cape Town as a City of Hope, the land release programme aims to unlock and drive the potential for a large-scale public private sector social housing programme.

It focuses on:

  1. A more fluid and rapid pipeline of land release for social housing
  2. Identifying large mixed-use sites for private sector development
  3. Unlocking the massive potential of micro-developers
  4. Developing an enabling environment to accelerate land release

Facts about social housing:

  • It is managed by accredited social housing institutions (SHIs).
  • SHIs are solely dependent on rental income. They receive no operational grants. They are able to service their debt finance through rental income.
  • As with any rental contract, tenants formally enter into lease agreements. The landlord is the SHI.
  • If tenants do not adhere to their lease agreements, the responsible SHI will follow the necessary legal process. Tenants must therefore pay to stay as the rental money is used for the day-to-day operation and upkeep of the complex.
  • The City has nothing to do with the day-to-day management of SHIs, the rental amount or evictions for not paying.
  • Before potential beneficiaries can apply for social housing, they are required to register on the City’s Housing Needs Register.
  • Projects are developed on well-located, accessible land in and near urban centres.
  • It is not low-income subsidised government housing, such as Breaking New Ground (or the commonly called RDP housing and it is not City Council Rental Units).
  • It is managed with 24-hour security and access control.
  • The City may sell City-owned land at a discounted price for social housing developments to make projects economically viable.
  • Social housing offers improved access to social facilities and other amenities.
  • A single grant subsidy can benefit on average five households versus one household for Council rental units.
  • Social housing adds value to vacant pieces of land.
  • Social housing has the potential to improve property values in an area.

For more information and to apply: