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Transitional abodes vital, but don’t address big picture

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Transitional housing to temporarily accommodate people evicted from areas in the inner city must be developed, says Ndifuna Ukwazi.

Transitional housing to temporarily accommodate people evicted from areas in the inner city such as Salt River and Woodstock and the central suburbs, must be developed, says Ndifuna Ukwazi, a non-profit activist organisation and law centre.

However, although transitional housing “is a small but necessary intervention to support evictees” it is “little more than supporting policy to mitigate against the worst effects of Cape Town’s property price surge. It does not address the causes of the affordable housing crisis”. 

“The City of Cape Town’s modus operandi, lax private developer regulations, unconditional sale of state land and tax incentives delinked from any social benefit, result in property bubbles which continue to drive the spatial apartheid the City claims it intends to disrupt. 

“Existing benefits, essentially served to the private sector on a silver platter, could be used to change the housing landscape. Affordable housing development is possible through these mechanisms.”

Ndifuna Ukwazi says there is much to learn about transitional housing from Joburg, “which has been building and operating transitional housing for more than 10 years”.

“Effective models exist for new and refurbished transitional housing buildings and how they can be incorporated in existing housing opportunities or clustered with other social services and community infrastructure. Transitional housing can be be replicated in areas across the city and incorporated into transit-orientated development plans. 

“Transitional housing should be funded sustainably and be well managed. Evictees should be (given) support to ensure they get back on their feet and into permanent housing. Capital and operating costs can be funded using existing funding streams or a combination of new approaches including cross-subsidisation.” 
Weekend Argus Property


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