Glenhaven social housing project launched

01 November 2021

Edited by Rory Macnamara

The City of Cape Town and its partners’ Glenhaven social housing project was officially launched on Tuesday, 9 March 2021, with a tenanting ceremony.

The tenanting was completed in July 2021, construction was completed in October 2020 for five apartment blocks and the last apartment block in May 2021. Glenhaven is comprised of 512 social housing opportunities as well as 253 Gap rental housing units. The City expenditure on this partnership project of R67-million includes funds allocated for the earthworks, internal civil engineering services for the provision of water, sanitation, and roads, electricity reticulation, street lighting and the rental units.

The construction of the housing units for the social housing opportunities commenced in October 2018 and its Phase One and Two is now complete. The construction of the Gap rental housing units was completed in May 2020 and half of the social housing units have been completed. The Social Housing units site handover was in October 2019 and actual building of the units started in May 2020.

View from one of the roads. Image credit: AVNA Architects Francois Nortje

Through the development process, the City has assisted the Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) social housing institution Urban Status Rentals with the statutory applications to enable the successful delivery of the housing units in this estimated R190-million project and by contributing to the funding required.

The City’s commitment to enabling more affordable housing opportunities, especially through the social housing model, is clear. The City is currently driving the construction phase of more than 2 000 affordable housing opportunities in and near urban centres across the metro to develop greater spatial equality in Cape Town. Social housing projects are typically developed on well-located, accessible land in and near urban centres. This project, located in Bellville South, is an excellent example of that commitment, given its convenient location to universities, schools and public transport.

This project is an example of how, by working together, we can contribute to improving the lives of our beneficiaries and what we are able to achieve for them. Thank you to the teams for their hard work and dedication to get this project completed for our beneficiaries.

“We know that the accommodation need in Cape Town is pronounced, and we will only succeed by following a systematic approach of first come, first served without queue-jumping. We must safeguard the integrity of our housing delivery programmes, despite the great pressure from urbanisation, unlawful land occupations and the diminishing national grants for human settlement developments. And we must ensure that our projects are increasingly well-located, near transport hubs and urban centres, which this one certainly is.

“Having only one type of housing will not answer the need in the metro. Therefore, we are exploring other types of opportunities and this project is an example of that. We are going to have to explore all options and be open to other types of housing options if we are to cater to the growing accommodation need in our city. We are committed to service delivery through the provision of several different types of housing opportunities, including affordable social and Gap housing opportunities, to some of our more vulnerable residents. We encourage all relevant private sector players to partner with us and to support us to make Cape Town an even greater and more resilient city. Thank you to all our existing partners and I look forward to continuing along this path of collaboration,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi.

Fernwood block. Image credit: AVNA Architects Francois Nortje

Fernwood block. Image credit: AVNA Architects Francois Nortje

Social housing is rental or co-operative housing for low- and lower-income households earning between R1 501 and R15 000 per month, with the proviso that the applicant is willing to and undertakes to pay monthly rental. Gap housing is for households which earn between R3 501 and R22 000 per month, and do not qualify for a full State-housing subsidy. These programmes enable the release of a range of partial housing subsidies and programmes.

The selection of beneficiaries for all City housing projects is done in accordance with the City’s Allocation Policy and the City’s Housing Needs Register to ensure that housing opportunities are allocated to qualifying beneficiaries in a fair and equitable manner. Applicants for social housing opportunities are also required to be on the Register.

Information about social housing:

  • It is managed by accredited Social Housing Institutions (SHIs).
  • SHIs are solely dependent on rental income. They receive no operational grants. They can service their debt finance through rental income.
  • As with any rental contract, tenants formally enter into lease agreements. The landlord is the SHI.
  • If tenants do not adhere to their lease agreements, the responsible SHI will follow the necessary legal process. Tenants must therefore pay to stay as the rental money is used for the day-to-day operation and upkeep of the complex.
  • The City has nothing to do with the day-to-day management of SHIs, the rental amount or evictions for not paying.
  • Before potential beneficiaries can apply for social housing, they are required to register on the City’s Housing Needs Register.
  • Projects are developed on well-located, accessible land in and near urban centres.
  • It is not low-income subsidised government housing, such as Breaking New Ground (or the commonly called RDP housing and it is not City Council Rental Units).
  • It is managed with 24-hour security and access control.
  • The City may sell City-owned land at a discounted price for social housing developments to make projects economically viable.
  • Social housing offers improved access to social facilities and other amenities.
  • A single grant subsidy can benefit on average five households versus one household for Council rental units.
  • Social housing adds value to vacant pieces of land.
  • Social housing has the potential to improve property prices in an area.

SA Affordable Housing chatted with architects, Francois Nortje and Jaco Voges from AVNA Architects for some more background and additions as construction is now complete.

In total the project has 944 units consisting of 253 Gap Housing rental units, 416 Social Housing units and 275 open market units. The project is the product of collaboration between a private company Devmark, a social housing institute Urban Status Rentals, The City of Cape Town, Provincial and National government.

The development has a significant impact beyond its boundaries through the provision of link services such as sewer and stormwater which are to be extended to a community west of the site.

The site was previously largely underdeveloped and overgrown and had been used as an illegal dumping ground and for criminal activities.

The Team:

  1. Devmark Property Group
  2. AVNA Architects
  3. Prodigious Quantity Surveyor
  4. Aecom Structural Engineer
  5. Driger Consulting Engineer Electrical
  6. Adele Turner landscaping Landscape

Emmy block. Image credit: AVNA Architects Francois Nortje

Emmy block. Image credit: AVNA Architects Francois Nortje