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Work with the City to assist development of inclusionary housing policy

Bo-Kaap residents have erected shacks on an open piece of land between Voetboog Road and Military Road in protest, among other things, against the new development that is under construction in Lion Street. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Bo-Kaap residents have erected shacks on an open piece of land between Voetboog Road and Military Road in protest, among other things, against the new development that is under construction in Lion Street. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Sep 17, 2018

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The City requires private sector developers who apply for additional rights to contribute to the provision of affordable housing in Cape Town.

The City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority was established in January last year to expedite the delivery of housing, among other priorities. Since then, we have nearly doubled delivery, and for the first time in the 18-year history of the metro have exceeded the city’s housing delivery target.

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However, the backlog of housing is large and growing, and national grants are shrinking.

A revision to the country’s national planning legislation introduced a uniform, effective and comprehensive system for planning decisions, a key aspect of which was the principle of spatial justice and inclusionary development.

Since taking responsibility for the planning department last year, I engaged with local and international experts regarding the concept of inclusionary development. Broadly speaking, it refers to the requirement to include affordable housing in cases where municipalities grant additional rights to a development.

This is common practice in most developed cities. I have met the deputy mayor of New York, international experts from the US-based Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and various local experts regarding this mechanism and its possible role in assisting with affordable housing provision and apartheid redress and spatial access.

I have subsequently requested city officials to develop a concept document that could form the basis of discussions in preparation for an Inclusionary Housing Policy for Cape Town. The concept of inclusionary housing and the process of engagement with all stakeholders has received support from the mayoral committee. The city will now initiate discussions with various stakeholder groups in pursuit of solutions that will assist us to develop an economically viable draft Inclusionary Housing Policy.

Where people live matters - location determines access to schools, job opportunities, public transport, hospitals, and public services.

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Property values have increased dramatically over the past decade, and lower- and middle-income households find it increasingly difficult to find well-located properties that they can afford to buy or rent.

Inclusionary housing could assist with the provision of more affordable units within well-located areas of the city and allow our society to develop in a more integrated, inclusive manner in line with international best practice.

I want to reiterate that:

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The concept document is a starting point for engagement on how the city could implement inclusionary housing in Cape Town.

Importantly, the policy must not be a deterrent for the valuable construction industry and place at risk the thousands of jobs which this sector sustains.

At this stage, it is proposed that the contribution the developer could make in terms of affordable housing should be based on a formula which takes into account the land value and development cost, and may accommodate an on-site, off-site or fees-in-lieu contribution, as per international norm.

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The proposed requirement for inclusionary housing will not impact on existing property or development rights. It is expected that the mechanism will only apply where developments are seeking additional rights.

We want to work with you - industry leaders, experts, NGOs and our residents - to ensure that we develop a policy that is workable, implementable and practical.

I encourage interested stakeholders to please contact my office or their relevant representative stakeholder organisation to request to be included in this process.

* Councillor Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

Related Topics:

City of Cape Town

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