No to RDP houses in Colorado Park

An artist’s impression of the proposed housing projects on Highlands Drive.

Colorado Park Residents have objected to the City of Cape Town’s proposal to build houses for low income beneficiaries.

Instead, they asked that the City build houses for those who can “partially afford” them.

Members of CRRA (Colorado Park Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association) attended a project steering committee meeting, with members of Sub-council 17 and officials of the City’s department of human settlements at the Sub-council chambers in Lentegeur, on Wednesday March 30.

Initially the City proposed a Breaking New Ground (BNG) housing development, through which a state-subsidy is provided to qualifying beneficiaries who earn a household income of less than R 3 500 a month.

Vice-chair Jenny Daniels told the Plainsman that a vote was passed that the City would not be introducing breaking new ground (BNG), formerly known as Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), houses in the proposed Highlands Drive Infill housing project, on the corner of Highlands Drive and Eisleben Road, in Colorado Park.

The project includes four vacant sites in Colorado Park, Woodlands, Lentegeur and Swartklip, which have been identified and secured for housing.

Ms Daniels said they had submitted a signed petition and sent several emails stating their dissatisfaction at the possibility that RDP houses might be built.

“A huge spirit of unity was displayed by the residents of Colorado (Park) and also a spirit of tenacity by CRRA to not give up and throw in the towel.”

She said they were grateful for the final vote by the City.

Former ward councillor Natalie Bent, and representative of CRRA’s housing committee, who attended the meeting last month, said the municipality had received about 750 objections.

She said the City officials had tabled a vote at the meeting and that they were grateful for the outcome.

In a WhatsApp message sent to the community, Ms Bent said the CRRA had requested Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP), a housing subsidy for first-time home buyers to assist with purchasing a home.

Good political party proportional representation (PR) councillor Saul Markgraff, New Woodlands Ratepayers’ Association chairman Shahiem van Nelson and former DA Colorado Park councillor and CRRA (Colorado Park Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association) housing committee representative Natalie Bent.

“CRRA requested FLISP housing to provide an opportunity for people to own a house, a type of housing which should complement Colorado housing,” she said.

FLISP is for beneficiaries who earn too much to qualify for a BNG house but do not have enough savings to pay the deposit, transfer fees or monthly payments on a property.

The City could help to fill this “gap”.

Qualifying beneficiaries must earn a household income of between R3 501 and R22 000.

Mayoral committee member for human settlements Malusi Booi said the planning and design phase of the Colorado Park site required various additional studies including freshwater specialists, a Water Use Licence Application (WULA) from the national government’s Department of Water and Sanitation due to the existing wetland located on the property.

The other three sites did not require a WULA therefore all development rights – land use and environmental – had been obtained.

He said to ensure that the Colorado Park site’s development approvals did not negatively impact on the Highlands project time lines, the Colorado site had been separated from the other three sites.

The WULA and final land use approval is still outstanding and in process for the Colorado site.

Mr Booi said they had received various objections against the originally proposed BNG housing.

“This office decided to investigate the possibility of developing GAP housing instead of BNG. It should be noted, no final decision has been made as no final land use approval has been granted. The development rights process is still ongoing and the aforesaid decision won’t impact time lines,” he said.

Mr Booi said that due to the application for the final land use approval for the Colorado Park site still being in process, the proposed Highlands Drive Infill project, without the Colorado site, would provide 542 approved opportunities.

“Beneficiaries of this project will be selected in accordance with the City’s Housing Allocation Policy and Housing Needs Register to ensure housing opportunities are made available in a fair and transparent manner that prevents queue jumping and to those who qualify for housing as per the South African legislation,” he said.