Cape Town - Run-down City of Cape Town-owned buildings in the greater Parow area that are attracting criminal elements are to be revamped and converted into affordable housing rental units.
The units will be made available to families with a household income of between R1 500 and R15 000 a month.
The sites identified for development have been grouped into four sub-precincts, and are situated close to the railway stations at Parow, Tygerberg, Elsies River and Avondale.
Collectively, the sites make up some 10.3 hectares of space, and are all situated close to public transport, schools, shopping centres and public services.
The development of the site is hoped to benefit a number of stakeholders, the existing residents in the areas surrounding the sites included.
"Local residents from Parow will benefit because it will halt the anti-social behaviour, and crime and grime that are associated with these unused sites; the new investment will halt the further degeneration of the areas surrounding the stations; it will lure investment from the private sector that could regenerate the greater Parow-area; and we could provide households with affordable rental units in complexes that are well-managed and conducive to family life," the City if Cape Town's mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron said.
Some site will have to be rezoned, Herron said.
"It is also important to note that Parow is relatively close to the Cape Town central business district (CBD) and located within the Voortrekker Road Corridor Integration Zone (VRCIZ) – one of three integration zones where the City will, during our term of office, spend the bulk of our capital budget on infrastructure aimed to transform Cape Town’s spatial reality.
"The sites are strategically placed in the Voortrekker Road Corridor between the City’s two most important commercial and jobs hubs – the city centre and Bellville, with good access to other important economic nodes like Maitland, Goodwood and Salt River. We have already seen some renewed private sector interest and investment in Parow which could, in the long-term, displace some of the area’s residents due to rising prices. Thus, we also want to get ahead of this phenomenon, often called 'gentrification', by developing subsidised rental units for qualifying vulnerable households. In so doing we will ensure that as house and rental prices in Parow rise the area will always have some affordable rental homes available, and in perpetuity," Herron said.
Once completed, the units will be managed by Social Housing Institutions and residents will be subject to similar rules and regulations set out by body corporates.
"These developments are modern, and well-built with spaces for children to play. There is strict access control, and tenants have to comply with the SHI’s rules in the same way that body corporate rules apply to those living in private developments. Only families who can afford to pay rent are allowed to move into these units, and tenants have to sign lease agreements.
"The social housing complexes have a good reputation because they are well-run and well-maintained. They are very popular and the units are high in demand. I want to assure local residents from Parow that they and the area will greatly benefit from these proposed developments," Herron said.@CapeTimesSA