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Social housing plans expected for Woodstock

Gympie Street in Woodstock is now a property gold mine, thanks to gentrification. Picture: David Ritchie/Independent Media

Gympie Street in Woodstock is now a property gold mine, thanks to gentrification. Picture: David Ritchie/Independent Media

Published Jan 26, 2017

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Cape Town – At least 3 000 social housing units were in the pipeline for Salt River and Woodstock, for which residents may soon apply, the city said on Wednesday.

The developments are expected in six locations in the areas, and residents earning between R1 500 and R7 500 would qualify to live there.

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The Mayco member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron, said more details would be announced once plans were finalised.

It emerged this week that long-time Woodstock residents were being pressured to sell their properties to developers and estate agents looking to make multimillion-rand profits as the area continued to gentrify.

A R2.5 million sale advertisement for a house in one of Woodstock’s most infamous streets, Gympie Street, grabbed the attention of constitutional rights and social justice group Ndifuna Ukwazi, and the organisation’s head of research, Hopolang Selebalo, had said residents were being forced out of the area owing to the trend.

Herron on Wednesday said the city’s social housing programme was aimed at developing affordable rentals in areas such as Woodstock and Salt River.

“It is high-density subsided housing that is implemented, managed and owned by independent, accredited social housing institutions in designated restructuring zones, intended for rental purposes,” said Herron.

“The city has agreements to implement social housing with institutions such as the Social Housing Company.”

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But Selebalo on Wednesday said:“It would be wonderful for people if the plans materialised soon. It’s been almost a decade since these plans were first discussed, and the rhetoric needs to change. If not, people will continue to be pushed out of the areas they grew up in.”

Cape Times

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