Residential News

Cape Town planners looking for ideas for low-cost housing near sought-after CBD

THE city of Cape Town is looking to partner with the private sector in its plans to make more low-cost housing available closer to the central business district (CBD).

Benedicta van Minnen, Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for human settlements, on Monday said the city had set aside R230m in the current financial year for social housing, as it looked to increase the development of affordable housing.

The city sees the construction of low-cost housing closer to the CBD as an essential component in realising Cape Town’s vision of an economically and socially cohesive city.

The CBD in Cape Town has been a victim of its own success, as its expansion and development over the years has led to a steep increase in residential property prices.

Van Minnen said over the past 10 years, the city had been developing a vision for “responsible” and “inclusive” development in all urban centres around the metro.

“However, it has become clear that one method of delivery of affordable housing will not meet the demand in Cape Town and that innovative, city-enabled but partner-driven solutions are the way forward,” she said.

The city’s vision has included the exploration of the CBD and adjacent areas for potential subsidised housing initiatives and social housing initiatives for low-to medium-income earners.

Examples of innercity social housing projects on the outskirts of the city can be found in the Woodstock and Salt River areas, said Van Minnen.

“Unlike many other cities, Cape Town central has few vacant open spaces or derelict buildings available for redevelopment due to sustained urban management over many years. Thus, a successful strategy has to look wider than the central area and cannot rely on state-sponsored housing initiatives only,” she said.

“The city is therefore actively promoting the provision of social housing by the private sector and housing companies.”

Van Minnen said several housing projects were in the pipeline. The city recently issued the prospectus for the development of the Foreshore Freeway Precinct in the CBD.

Among others, it is also asking the private sector to come forward with proposals to contribute to the provision of affordable housing opportunities in return for the rights to develop the strip of city-owned land that is located under and between the existing and unfinished highways, between the city’s northern edge and the harbour.

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