City updates Woodlands waiting list

Mitchells Plain residents came to Woodlands to update their information on the housing estates unit caravan.

A caravan from the City of Cape Town’s housing estates unit made its way to Woodlands on Friday June 15 to help people apply for housing and assist those on the waiting list by updating information.

Eddie Andrews, mayoral committee member for area south, said they were honouring a commitment made to the community.

“We are meeting the resolution as we’ve met with the land invaders and because of this, we’ve brought the caravan not only to help them but to assist the community. We will return again but a date has not been confirmed yet. The need was for housing and parking in Eros Way.”

Those who came to the caravan for help all have desperate stories of their need for housing.

Crystal Gordon, 30, from Beacon Valley, said she had been on the waiting list for nine years.

“I thought today they would bring us good news, that housing would be available, but I have already done this procedure in Wale Street. Nobody knows when housing will be available. It is not nice having to go to the offices just to hear that only people who have been on the waiting list for more than 20 years will get houses.”

Mary-Ann Plaatjies, 52, from Woodlands, said the wait for housing was too long.

“I have been waiting for a house for 25 years, I have one daughter, 16, and my two sons, 26 and 29, who are also expectant that we will get a house, hopefully soon. We live with my mother in Woodlands. We have lived with my mother for more than 39 years. My husband passed away, so it’s just my kids and I. I am really frustrated I need to wait this long, I want my own house,” she said.

“It is not nice having to hear how long my daughter has to wait for a house,” said her mother, Francina Willoughby, 70, from Woodlands.

Amelia Segers, 48, from Portland, said they were squeezed for space.

“I will be very grateful if we could get a house as my children are getting older. My son, 6, and daughter, 9, are staying in a room with my husband, who is the breadwinner, and I. I am excited about the four projects coming up too,” she said.

Charné Thorn, 25, from Beacon Valley, said the services offered at the caravan had been helpful.

“It made it easier for me to get to, otherwise I would have to travel all the way to their offices in town. They should come regularly to update information.”

Jethro Petersen, a City of Cape Town field officer in the communications section for home ownership transfer and tenancy management and staff housing (HOTTS), was stationed at the caravan to help people.

He said his department dealt with the City of Cape Town’s rental housing units.

“People could apply for general enquiries, find out about tenancy management and ownership processes. Allocation gets done in chronological order of dates for people who have applied for housing. This van being here today runs the same as the housing office. It is the first time we are in this area. We will be servicing about five areas that will be advertised through the City,” said Mr Petersen.

Elton Jansen, chairperson of Sub-council 23, said a steering committee had been elected to deal with the four housing projects in Swartklip, Lentegeur, Woodlands and Colorado Park/ Highlands Drive.

“A motion was tabled by a former ward councillor Michael Petersen in 2014, to engage with the Western Cape Government Department of Human Settlements as well as the City’s Department of Human Settlements to look at suitable vacant pockets of land for housing projects. The project is in the beginning stages. The steering committee, in line with the City’s housing allocation policy, will determine what percentage of informal settlement, backyard dwellers, etc, will get housing opportunities as well as special needs applicants. The City will inform the applicant to verify information gathered if they’ve applied. People need to understand, housing demands cannot be given to those under 40 because there are people older than 40 who have been on the waiting list for long and it’s only fair to deal with them first when opportunities arise.”

Michael Page, project manager at the City of Cape Town’s Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA), said the planning component of the project would take at least two years.

“The civil engineering would take a further two years while construction could be started in some places on the development. The maximum income bracket linked to the project is R3 500.”

You can visit the housing office at the Cape Town Civic Centre, 2nd floor, concourse level at the cash hall, or visit 50 Wale Street for enquires. Take your ID and ID of your partner, children’s birth certificate, proof of income, if unemployed, an affidavit stating your unemployment, if married, the certificate and if divorced, the final order of divorce.

For more information on general housing enquiries, including updating your status on the database or a service request, contact their offices at 021 444 0333.