The Continuous growth in urban population trends across South Africa has seen most people continue to flock to cities and this had led to an increase in demand for affordable accommodation in the cities. In Cape Town, most newcomers cannot afford the formal private rental market in and around the city centre, where rentals for a studio apartment starts at about R8 000 a month in Woodstock and Salt River, and a whole lot more in central city neighbourhoods like Gardens or Sea Point.
It is due to this continuous demand for decent housing with access to running water, electricity, security among others that the small-scale private affordable rental properties have arisen to meet that urgent need, mostly in the form of formal backyard rental accommodations. Rarely mentioned in the debates around South Africa’s housing policy, the affordable formal backyard rental market provides accommodation to more low-paid and underprivileged households than the state’s subsidised housing programmes such as the so-called RDP type housing. According to the 2011 Urban Land Mark report, the small-scale private rental market in South Africa is one of the most “successful, efficient and pervasive accommodation delivery systems in South Africa,” accounting for 35% of all rentals, or 10% of all South African households.
As an organisation that works with partners and seeks to create linkages between communities and the right service providers, DAG collaborated with iBuild home loans, a Micro financing organisation that offers finance for this market segment and embarked on the road less travelled with the aim of addressing the lack of decent affordable housing in Cape Town. On Saturday the 14th of September, the Development Action Group (DAG)’s Contractor and Developer Academy (CDA) in partnership with iBuild Home Loans hosted a highly engaging Affordable Rental Development Information Session at the Rent Office in Delft. The main objective of the information session was to create a platform for DAG to share information about the CDA’s role in providing support to the homeowners so that they can realise their goal of building rental units on their properties and for IBuild Home Loans to talk about their financing options and processes.
The Information session which attracted over 25 interested homeowners and emerging developers, commenced with an enlightening presentation by DAG’s CDA team leader, Zama Mgwatyu. Zama initiated the session by introducing the CDA programme and highlighting the different forms of support that the programme offers homeowners who are interested in building affordable rental units on their property. During the session, the CDA team leader shared a highly engaging presentation designed to equip the delegates with information on how to create links with Home loan financing institutions and go about the building plan submissions as well as share the CDA’s role in linking participants to credible emerging contractors that will deliver quality, affordable rental units that are in accordance with the City of Cape Town’s planning approval.
Brian Bango the Corporate Sales and Marketing Manager for iBuild home loans also used the platform to share interesting information on IBuild Home Loans’ services, application process and the criteria that they use to approve home loans. Brian also highlighted the various affordable financing options and assistance that their company offer to people interested in building rental units on their property, build extra rooms onto their house for rent and or repair existing rooms/house.
At the end of the session, participants were given the platform to ask burning questions which the CDA team and iBuild Home Loans team responded by either asking them to give their details for a follow up one on one session or answering the questions and giving spot advice on how to address their concerns.
This is the first of many information sessions that DAG in collaboration with iBuild Home Loans will be hosting in various Cape Town communities, as a way of equipping emerging developers and homeowners so that they are at the centre of their community development, and they can use the information make informed decisions and contribute towards the sustainable development of their neighbourhoods.
As DAG we strongly believe that there is an urgent need to push for affordable rental housing paradigm to be rolled out across the Cape Town communities. If you would like to find out more about this sector please feel free to click on the following link to read our recent publication entitled Affordable Rental Housing: A look at a vital yet often ignored sector