Housing secured

An artists's impression of what the community residential units (CRU) will look like.

The much anticipated housing project in Imizamo Yethu will finally kick off early in the new year after the project was delayed for several months.
In December last year, the Sentinel reported that the project was due to start in June (“IY housing development to start early next year,” Sentinel December 11, 2015) but to date, Imizamo Yethu residents are still waiting for construction to start on the 16- hectare old forestry site near the Disa Primary School.
Steering committee member, Kenny Tokwe said delays included problems with appointing contractors and issues with several families that were evicted from the site.
The housing project will see a total of 915 housing units being built on three project sites.
Project site one borders Hughenden Estate, project site two is the 16 hectare old forestry site and project site three borders Penzance.

The housing units will comprise 240 Community Residential Units (CRUs) and 675 Breaking New Ground (BNG) housing.

The proposed ratio of rental CRUs versus fully owned BNG units was based on the findings of a survey completed in August 2014 (“City surveys IY needs,” August 22 2014).

Mayoral committee member for human settlements, Benedicta van Minnen, said construction of phase one will start with bulk earthworks on site two and will include plot levelling on the sloped site as well as the construction of retaining walls and infrastructure for water, sewage, access roads and detention ponds.

She says 492 housing units – 252 BNGs and 240 CRUs will go up on site two during this first phase.

Earthworks are expected to take a year to complete meaning work on the housing complexes is only likely to begin in 2018.

Earlier, Ms Van Minnen said the 2014 survey had found most residents preferred BNGs, but the City of Cape Town also needed to accommodate those residents who did not qualify for a BNG subsidy.

To qualify for a BNG house, an applicant must be a South African citizen or have a permanent residence permit; be married, or have a permanent partner, or be single with dependents; earn less than R3 500 a month and not have previously received a state subsidy.

Previous property owners do not qualify for a housing subsidy while applicants with joint monthly incomes between
R3 501 and R10 000 will pay a penalty rental. BNG subsidy recipients will receive title deeds to the properties.

New applicants who previously owned a property might still qualify for a CRU but their monthly income must be
R10 000 or less.

The CRUs will be part of the City’s rental stock, available for lease only and will have a maximum of three storeys to each building while the BNGs will be double-storey semi-detached units.

All units, flats and houses, will be a minimum of 40 square metres.

However, the BNGs will be slightly bigger to compensate for living space lost due to the internal staircase.

All units will have two bedrooms, a bathroom and an open plan lounge and kitchen.

Mr Tokwe said although most residents were excited about the housing project, it has been the centre of controversy for many years in Imizamo Yethu as the houses to be built will not be enough to accommodate the estimated 4 600 residents that are in need of housing.

“The reality is that not everyone who wants a house will get one,” he said.

Ms Van Minnen said so far there has been no objections from the community to the layout or unit types.