Deadline for public comment on Western Cape’s housing policy looms
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Cape Town - The Western Cape’s public participation process for a groundbreaking new inclusionary housing policy framework is halfway to the July 14 deadline, according to Local Government and Environmental Affairs MEC Anton Bredell.
The draft policy framework was published for public comment on May 14. It aims to help municipalities in the province facilitate the inclusion of more affordable housing units in developments.
Inclusionary housing (IH) is a mechanism that requires new private developments looking for further residential or mixed-use development rights to include housing units that are affordable for lower-income members of the public or to contribute towards affordable housing in well-located areas in other ways.
Bredell has urged all interested parties, those who could benefit from IH, and those who would implement it to make use of this opportunity to provide input.
“We are very serious about getting the needed input of all stakeholders to make it a workable policy framework, one that will ensure the final policy works well.
“We are trying to work with the private sector to create more affordable housing opportunities in the parts of our cities and towns located close to jobs, schools, health facilities and good-quality public spaces,” said Bredell.
Housing activists have welcomed the opportunity to discuss the policy.
Development Action Group (DAG) spokesperson Kundai Nyamutenha said DAG has been analysing the mechanics of how IH has worked in other cities since 2006, and how it might best be applied in Cape Town.
“We believe we are on the cusp of a pivotal national moment, but the question is, how we will we use this opportunity?
“Since 2008, with the City of Cape Town and other partners, we have been grappling with the hard questions around this mechanism, a process that led to the City developing a concept note on the subject.”
Ndifuna Ukwazi attorney Jonty Cogger said although public participation was an important step, the potential of IH to create affordable units and foster integration could be fully realised until the City put its IH policy in place.
“Over the last four years, Ndifuna Ukwazi has been objecting to multiple exclusive private developments across Cape Town with the demand for IH as a means to promote race and class integration.”
The Draft Western Cape Inclusionary Housing policy framework is available at www.westerncape.gov.za/eadp.