In an effort to expedite the provision of affordable housing opportunities across the city, the City of Cape Town is seeking additional social housing partners.
"The development and availability of affordable rental accommodation in central areas of the city in particular, must play a key role in the future development of Cape Town. Furthermore, providing affordable housing opportunities closer to where people work or close to public transport is non-negotiable. This way we will create a more integrated and inclusive city where residents have equal access to opportunities. This approach will also assist us in addressing the legacy of apartheid spatial planning and improving densification and mixed land-use," said the city’s mayoral committee member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron.
The city currently has partnership agreements with five social housing companies to develop and manage affordable rental housing stock for lower- and middle-income residents.
"Given the acute demand for affordable housing, the city needs more social housing partners to help us up-scale and expedite the number of opportunities delivered in the short- to medium-term. In this sense we are approaching a very exciting period where we will be fast-tracking the delivery of affordable housing opportunities at a number of key inner-city sites. These sites will be announced in a call for development proposals in the near future. This will provide us and our new social housing partners with the ideal opportunity to work together immediately," said Herron.
The city is therefore seeking to enter into partnership agreements with more companies who are accredited with the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) as stipulated by the Social Housing Act.
"We want to sign full partnership agreements with companies that are already experienced in developing and managing their own rental stock, but we are also looking for conditional partners who will be given capacity support to develop and manage their first projects. Once they have proven their ability to deliver, their agreements may be transitioned into full partnerships with the city," said Herron.
Companies who are accredited with the SHRA and interested in entering into partnerships with the city are invited to attend a compulsory briefing starting at 10am on 30 June 2017 at 44 Wale Street in the Cape Town central business district. The interested companies are also requested to register on the city’s social housing database.
"We need well-located affordable housing in our inner cities and around transport corridors. Importantly, we want partners who are just as committed as we are to addressing this need. They must be obsessive about delivery and quality, and they must be willing to serve the beneficiaries of these projects with passion," said Herron.
Agreements with social housing companies are based on the public-private-partnership model for service delivery. These agreements stipulate the aims, goals, objectives, performance targets, and specific areas of cooperation between the city and the institutions. The city provides rates subsidies and the social housing companies access capital subsidies from other spheres of government to ensure that more affordable rental accommodation options are provided.
Radical shift in financing, planning strategies
"When council adopted the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan in August 2016, we made a commitment to take radical steps to accelerate change. The Transport and Urban Development Authority is tackling the housing challenge head-on. We have recognised that we need a radical shift in our financing and planning strategies and delivery methods to address this scale of need. I am confident that we will soon have more partners from the private sector who will assist us in providing decent and affordable housing to those who need it most," said Herron.
The city’s partnership agreements with the social housing companies Madulammoho, Social Housing Company, and Cape Town Community Housing Company will be renewed in due course, and the agreement with Communicare will be extended once the contract expires in October 2017. All of these companies have been accredited by the Social Housing Regulatory Authority as required by national government.