KZN's five-year rental housing plan launched

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KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human Settlements & Public Works Ravi Pillay KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human Settlements & Public Works Ravi Pillay

Five thousand people will move into the government subsidised housing rental units within 24 months, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human Settlements & Public Works Ravi Pillay said at the launch of the province’s five-year Rental Housing Strategic Plan in Durban on May 24.

Before the launch today, the province of KwaZulu-Natal had only three housing institutions delivering rental housing.  The three housing institutions could not meet the ever-increasing demand. According to the latest Census data KwaZulu-Natal has a housing backlog of 700 000 units.

“This situation was untenable as we did not have a structured approach towards the delivery and roll-out of rental housing, hence the development of the five-year Rental Housing Strategic Plan,” Pillay said.
The plan is a collaborative effort of the provincial Department of Human Settlements and the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA), a social housing public entity of the National Human Settlements Department.
SHRA was requested to identify the rental housing demand in the province’s six high-capacity municipalities namely Msunduzi, Hibiscus Coast, KwaDukuza, Newcastle, City of uMhlathuze and Mnambithi-Ladysmith, so as to ensure that the department meets the rental housing targets.

The five-year rental housing plan is informed by the National Rental Housing Strategy of which Social Housing, Community Residential Units and Institutional Subsidy Programme are essential components.
“The strategic rental housing plan has been developed having taken into account the comprehensive analysis of the needs of the province particularly for households in the rental  market that earn less than R7 500 per month.”

He said households in this category required rental accommodation located in decent areas that have access to social-economic opportunities and amenities.

He said his department had considered using alternative construction technologies in some pilot rental housing projects in order to save both on capital and running costs, save on erection time while promoting labour intensive practise, job creation, and more environmental friendly development.

The projects most ready for implementation in 2012/13 will yield 1 941 units in the category of Social Housing innovation projects. In the Community Residential Unit projects, a further 1 705 units will be delivered.
Speaking to SAnews, Pillay said the department has set aside over R200 million to kick start this project in 25 pipeline projects scattered around the province.  He emphasised that this was rental stock for people who wanted to rent only. “It is not a rent-to-buy scheme,” he said. 

He revealed that the department has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Minister of Human Settlements, whereby the province undertook to deliver 15 240 rental units by 2014.
Already, suitable parcels of land have been identified and allocated for the implementation of the rental housing programme in the province.


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