High-rise social housing planned for Port Elizabeth CBD

NOVEMBER 27, 2014

Qhama Social Housing Institute (DHI) is planning to develop a total of 222 social housing units in the Port Elizabeth CBD. The company, a newly established and accredited social housing institute, was set up as a special purpose vehicle to provide social housing (rental accommodation) and other forms of housing for low-middle income groups.

The company is based in East London but has just established offices in Port Elizabeth which, it says, will serve as its head office.

The company has issued a call for expressions of interest from experienced developers for the development of the 222 units. These, it spells out, will be studio apartments and one and two-bedroom units.

It says the project entails the conversion of five and seven-storey buildings and the development of a new 11-storey building in the CBD.

The provision of social housing is a major area of focus at national, provisional and local government level and the Walmer Link development won the award for the best social housing project at this year’s Govan Mbeki awards.

The metro already has a number of are-as that have been declared “restructuring zones” where social housing can be built.

These include areas such as Fairview, where the Fairview Links project is already underway as well as Mount Croix where Council has approved the rezoning of Knowles Street for this purpose.

The Human Settlements Directorate has also indicated that it wants to apply to the Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlement for the whole of Nelson Mandela Bay to be declared a restructuring zone.

The Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements wants to “mobilise private developers in the space of social and gap market housing”.

It wants to achieve this as part of an effort to accelerate delivery of rental and credit-linked housing stock”.

The department states in its Financial Oversight and Performance Report for the first six months of the current financial year that it is exploring “creative ways of incentivising social and rental housing”. - metrominutes