Housing allocated fairly

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport and urban development

The story “MEC to unpack housing” (Plainsman, May 16) refers.

Beneficiaries of all City housing projects are allocated in accordance with the City’s Allocation Policy and the housing database to ensure that housing opportunities are provided to qualifying applicants in a fair, transparent and equal manner, and to prevent queue-jumping.

Applicants need to meet the following criteria to register with the housing database:

Be a South African citizen; be over 18 years old;

Be married or be a co-habiting partner, or else have dependents (This does not apply to applicants over the age of 60 or who have disabilities);

Have an income of less than R3 500 a month; and

Never have owned a property before.

Generally, in order for applicants to receive a house, they need to be:

a South African citizen;

on the housing database residing within the target areas selected for a specific project;

over 40 years old;

married or be a co-habiting partner, or else have dependents;

have an income of less than R3 500 a month; and

never have owned a property before.

Housing allocations are done as housing opportunities become available, and strictly in terms of the City’s approved housing allocation policy.

There are currently 352 203 people registered with the City’s housing database.

Furthermore, applicants are encouraged to contact the City to check the status of their applications on the housing database.

The City’s housing database is used to provide the names of beneficiaries for City housing projects. Likewise, the Western Cape Government’s (WCG) housing database, which excludes names of applicants living in Cape Town, provides the names of beneficiaries for their housing projects.

The City, when approached by WCG, also assists them with the selection of beneficiaries for their projects.

Applicants who live in Cape Town only need to register with the City’s housing database. The City’s data is uploaded onto the national housing database to ensure that beneficiaries only receive one eligible housing opportunity in South Africa.

It is a requirement that a project steering committee (PSC) be formed for each Breaking New Ground housing project.

A PSC comprises community representatives, relevant ward councillors and City project officials, and serves as the communication link between the project manager and the local community pertaining to aspects of the development.

The PSC is involved with determining the beneficiary radius or target area for the specific housing project and recommending the allocation percentage split between beneficiaries who have been on the housing database the longest, based on the agreed application cut-off date; special needs applicants; and those from the targeted areas.

The recommended beneficiary split is then approved and endorsed by the Mayco member.

The City’s housing database then provides the names of qualifying beneficiaries and this list is displayed within the project area for the community to peruse, comment or dispute.

The City also contacts the qualifying beneficiaries to inform them that they have been identified for a housing opportunity. Applicants are therefore encouraged to ensure that they update their contact details listed on the housing database.

There are currently two active projects within Mitchell’s Plain: the Beacon Valley housing project and the Highlands housing project. The Beacon Valley housing project will provide 1 818 housing opportunities on three sites in the Beacon Valley or Lentegeur area. The appointment of consultants to oversee civil construction on the sites is being finalised. The steering committee is currently considering the beneficiary split and the extent of the feeder area. The Highlands housing project will provide approximately 800 housing opportunities across four sites.

The project is still in the design phase.

A steering committee has been elected and is currently considering the beneficiary split and the extent of the feeder area.