The South African city of Cape Town is pushing a bill to sell land at an affordable price in bid to provide 850 new homes. According to a mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron nine-storey blocks of flats on 1.4ha next to Salt River Circle have been identified to provide affordable accommodation in the city centre.
“The purpose of the development is to mitigate the impact of gentrification on longstanding families from Woodstock and Salt River who cannot afford to rent or buy properties from the private market due to the unprecedented growth in property values in these areas over the past decade‚” said Brett Herron.
“Approximately 300 social housing rented flats will be targeting households earning between US $103 and US $1, 027 per month,” Mr. Herron said. “The development in Salt River will cost US $43.39m,” he added.
Explaining that the development cost of the site was higher than the rest of the social housing development because of its location, proximity to the CBD and access to public transport Mr. Herron said that these factors require the city-owned site to meet the city’s densification objectives.
The city council has been embroiled in controversy over the last three years over evictions in Woodstock and Salt River sparked by development plans. Rising property values caused by the success of trendy buildings such as the Old Biscuit Mill have left long-standing residents unable to afford to stay in the suburbs.
Herron further suggested that the key to densify social housing projects in Cape Town was to transfer land at less than its fair market value and with a high level of cross-subsidization from its mixed-use development concept.
Communicare will receive a subsidy of US $1m for building the 300 flats‚ and also plans 550 homes that will be rented at market prices‚ 350 parking bays and 2‚000m² of shops bounded by Voortrekker Road‚ Bromwell Street and the railway line.