Joburg inclusionary housing policy nears completion

The City of Johannesburg will soon introduce a policy that will promote accommodation opportunities for low-income and lower-middle-income households in well-located areas across the city.

Reuben Masango, MMC for Development Planning, said the draft policy on inclusionary housing is in its final stages.

The inclusionary housing policy will incentivise private developers to dedicate a certain percentage of new residential developments to affordable housing.

This aims to win the fight against apartheid spatial planning, and the relegation of the poor to cheap, poorly connected and underserviced land.

Masanago said this is where the poor are excluded from the benefits of urban living. The plan is to have new housing located in areas that are close to jobs, schooling and public transport.

“Partnering with the private sector to provide lasting solutions in the delivery of affordable housing is critical in the City’s approach to transform Johannesburg into a more spatially just, sustainable, and efficient urban form,” he said.

The City said that during public consultation for the policy 58 comments were received, mostly from developers, consultants, associations and legal consultants representing residential property development companies.

“There was an overall consensus that providing affordable and inclusive housing in well-located parts of the city was desirable, and the intent of the policy was agreed with.”

Some developers, however, argued that the implementation of the proposed policy will lead to a development strike from residential developers, as they would rather choose to invest in cities where inclusionary housing was not mandatory, Masango said.

Masango argued however that the journey of transformation is not an easy feat.

“However, if we want to make any kind of significant change in Johannesburg, the City will need everyone who can play a role to come on board to achieve this.”

The City also recently released 71 inner-city properties to be developed for affordable housing. Tenders will be available from 16 August for purchase at the Joburg Property Company’s Office in Braampark. Interested parties have until 30 November to respond.

Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba said these buildings earmarked for the regeneration of the inner city are expected to deliver at least 4 000 units for student accommodation, small business premises and affordable accommodation.

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