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Entrepreneurs meeting housing needs under spotlight

Entrepreneurs and micro-developers are slowly meeting the housing needs in growing urban areas. picture: supplied

Entrepreneurs and micro-developers are slowly meeting the housing needs in growing urban areas. picture: supplied

Published May 24, 2022

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The role of micro-development in delivering affordable housing will come under the spotlight this week when property developers hold an annual conference.

The Western Cape Property Development Forum (WCPDF) said it believed that micro-developers were quietly solving the challenges of delivering affordable housing on a scale that the government would not be able to achieve.

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At a Housing Indaba held in April, Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis undertook to release large pockets of pieces of land for affordable housing within the 2023/2024 financial year.

The land parcels were located close to Fruit and Veg in Roeland Street, first precinct in Parow, Maitland, Pine and Dillon Roads in Woodstock and Salt River Market.

At the time Hill -Lewis said while the City would continue to work with traditional private developers and social housing partners, there was also now a move to work with micro-developers and households to meet the increasing demand for affordable housing.

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Chairperson of the Western Cape Development Forum, Deon van Zyl says it is high time that micro-developers get the recognition they deserve in meeting housing needs. PIC: SUPPLIED

Chairperson of WCPDF Deon van Zyl said it would take years for actual houses on the tracts of land to materialise.

Close to 500 000 people are still on a housing-waiting list in the province.

The WCPDF also called for the recognition of micro-developers.

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“It’s high time these developers get the recognition they deserve, also by the public sector which must come up with the right solutions to assist this sector with the compliance and legitimacy it is now seeking," said Van Zyl.

He added that it was through public private partnerships that the housing needs would be addressed.

“However well-intended they aim to be, the inclusionary housing policies being conceptualised by the government are not the answer and will only solve a very small percentage of delivery in the affordable market.

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"While our industry is not opposed to new thinking, we need to move much faster. We believe it is the private sector, many of whom are micro-developers already delivering housing in townships, who are stepping up to the challenge, ” said Van Zyl.

The conference, under the theme of “From Surviving to Thriving in the Built Environment" will also look into the role ratepayers and taxpayers can play in setting scorecards of their needs.

The conference takes place on Thursday and Friday.

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