NEEDY BENEFICIARIES MISS OUT ON RENTING STATE HOUSING

Needy beneficiaries are missing out on housing and the state is missing out on potential income because of the lack of adequate development of rentable social housing in the province.

A paltry R7,2 million has been budgeted for Housing Asset Management under which social- and state rental housing expenditure is budgeted.

This equates to a 0,89% decrease over the last financial year.

The departmental budget for 2011/12 is R2,4 billion.

There are many potential housing beneficiaries who do not qualify for or want RDP for their housing needs.

This huge “gap” market are potential renters of state housing who are being prejudiced by the lack of provision of this type of accommodation by the Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements.

At present too much focus is on the mass production of RDP housing without giving sufficient attention to rental options.

Another area of concern is the decrease in budget of 14% for housing maintenance over the previous year. The few rentable properties available are not being properly maintained for future tenants.

In order to stimulate job creation the development of decent, affordable rental accommodation near to places of employment is vital to the growth of our economy.

There are quick and effective ways to stimulate this housing need within communities.

Firstly, municipalities must be capacitated to do thorough land audits of all land available for social housing initiatives.

Secondly, quick wins like identifying vacant office buildings in CBDs that can be renovated for this type of housing will assist in the process.

Inner city rejuvenation that creates opportunities for accelerated social housing is the way to fast track such accommodation.

Efficient public /private partnerships and owner developer incentives must be done to maximise the development of social housing for those who need it.

The minimising of red tape bureaucracy will allow for speedy development of such residential units.

It is a Constitutional prerogative that there shall be housing for all…the department is failing the citizens of this province by not adequately providing for social housing facilities for communities.