Delivery of a wide range of affordable housing solutions is critical in addressing the housing and land crisis. DAG has a long standing track record in advocacy and delivering affordable housing in South Africa.  In working with community based and civic organisations, DAG has developed best practice for local solutions to national problem. This involves working with local citizens, local government, emerging contractors and developers to provide a range of affordable housing solutions. DAG’s current strategy is twofold- to continue advocating with government for incremental and long term response to informality; and secondly to support, develop and deliver local solutions through DAG’ Contractor and Developer Academy (CDA). The CDA operates as an advice office based out of Khayelitsha providing critical support to citizens, contractors and community networks in delivering affordable housing, basic services and tenure options.

Enhanced peoples housing programme

The demand for housing in Khayelitsha is still a daunting challenge as the wards in the upper side of Khayelitsha are pre-dominantly informal settlements. In 2005 Development Action Group (DAG) was commissioned by the People’s Housing Partnership Trust (PHPT) to assist with unblocking People’s Housing Projects (PHP) that had ground to a halt in Khayelitsha. Subsidies had been approved and released and construction had commenced but the programme was terminated mid-stream. DAG worked from 2007 to 2011 to put in place the necessary financial and institutional systems for the project. It had to strike a fine balance between communication and facilitation among multiple stakeholders and the technical aspects of preparation for construction. The lengthy pre-construction period saw the closure of the PHPT and also a major shift of power in the Western Cape government from the ruling ANC party to the DA party. Eventually, subsidies to the value of R64 million for the benefit of 2173 households in Khayelitsha were released in July 2011 and construction commenced later that year. In 2015 DAG successfully completed the construction of the Khayelitsha Enhanced People’s Housing Project allocated to DAG. The Khayelitsha PHP housing project improved the living conditions of more than 8500 people in Khayelitsha. A total number of 140 building workers were employed over the construction period that injected an estimated R6.55m into the local economy.

Read more about Unblocking The Khayelitsha People’s Housing Process Case Study

Private rental backyarder housing programme

Given the poor delivery of affordable housing in the city, most households are forced to live in zinc structures in informal settlements or backyards. Private rental housing in historically disadvantaged areas continues to thrive, with several new developments mushrooming across Cape Town and more generally in South Africa. Private rental continues to provide essential shelter options for working class households. DAG has recognised such private rental industry as a key strategy for delivering well managed affordable housing stock in Cape Town.  Through DAG’s Contractor and Developer Academy (CDA), DAG provides support to citizens on design, planning, regulations and finance for development.

Read more about DAG’s Affordable Rental Housing Publication

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Informal settlement upgrading

It is estimated that it currently takes government 15 years to upgrade one informal settlement. Given the enormous scale and challenge to the problem, DAG’s approach towards informal settlement upgrading is rooted in tenure and land rights. Through key processes, DAG works with community partners across the Province to release land for informal settlement upgrading, basic services and housing delivery.

Read more about The Freedom Park Informal Settlement Upgrade Case Study

Contractor training programme

The Cape Town property development and construction industry accounts for R11.11 Billion in revenue and is the fastest growing sector since 2005 averaging 5.4% per annum. Being a key economic driver, the Cape Town property development sector is dominated by a handful of big companies who are not adequately incentivised, or required to open the space to emerging contractors or deliver on affordable housing. Not one of these large property developers or construction companies is from Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain and surrounds. Oftentimes, the construction and development companies provide lip service through Corporate Social Investment (CSI) or rely on the public sector to address this inequality. The preferential procurement points and enterprise development incentives set by the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policy is also not enough to break down barriers that make it difficult for emerging developers to enter the housing construction market. The construction and development sector is also conservative and risk-averse, with much emphasis placed on experience. The emerging black owned construction companies and entrepreneurial developers from under resourced communities remain underrepresented.  Since its history, DAG has been involved in capacitating contractors and citizens to participate in the construction of affordable housing. Our strategy is to capacitate emerging contractors to become both viable businesses, but also develop local affordable housing solutions.

Read more about DAG’s Contractor and Developer Academy

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