Louise Scholtz – South Africa: Why Is There Not Enough Affordable Rental Or Social Housing For The Poor In South Africa’s Cities?

JohannesburgallAfrica.com. May 2014. Why is there not enough affordable rental or social housing for the poor in our cities? As the Constitutional Court’s Grootboom decision highlighted, cities should be read as shorthand for well-located spaces that provide access to economic and social opportunities for the poor.
This lack of affordable and well-situated rental or social housing accommodation is not unique to South Africa. There are many urban centres in the world where land has run out and state support is insufficient to keep up with demand, let alone plan for the future.
There is also an obsession with ownership that has borne witness to the large scale selling off of rental stock. South Africa has also seen large-scale sales of social housing by municipalities, perhaps more in response to the operational challenges presented by the cost of on-going maintenance and challenges linked to non-payment.

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