Johannesburg Transitional Housing Learning Tour

The Development Action Group (DAG), in partnership with the National Association of Social Housing Organisations (NASHO) and University of Cambridge hosted a Transitional Housing Learning Tour in Johannesburg, from the 26th to the 27th of May 2022.

The Johannesburg Transitional Housing Learning tour saw 30 participants from across local and international civil society, local and provincial government coming together to critically explore Transitional Housing as an alternative for low-income earners. The learning tour provided a platform for participants to learn more about the promising solution transitional housing holds for households who do not qualify for the lower end of the social housing income bands due to deep poverty and unemployment or psychosocial ills which have kept them from accessing livelihood opportunities.

The three main objectives of the two-day event were:
👉To present local examples of transitional housing from its conception to its present-day failures and successes.
👉To create more clarity and coherence around the practice and the concept of transitional housing in South Africa.
👉 To provide detailed suggestions on the lessons learnt from local examples of transitional housing and what these mean for the practice and concept of transitional housing in South Africa.

DAG Project Co-ordinator, Ryan Fester, facilitated the programme, focusing on unpacking different approaches to transitional housing in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and eThekwini.

During the tour participants took a tour to Transitional Housing sites in Johannesburg – MES Impilo and Madulammoho’s B. G. Alexander. Both facilities provided a holistic structure around the housing facilities. MES Impilo offers adult education and skills development programmes, while B. G. Alexander housing project includes childcare facilities for young children to high school students – creche, aftercare, computer labs and a 5-aside soccer pitch. These visits provided the participants with valuable insights into the interdisciplinary approach that led to the success of the transitional housing projects.

Transitional Housing is a compelling concept in the South African housing space. While no structured government policy or financial support exists for these types of facilities, there is a real need for transitional housing in South African cities. The current transitional housing projects in Cape Town and Johannesburg are largely driven by NGOs with specific obligations that those who access this type of accommodation commit to psychosocial support.

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