City promises decision on Salt River social housing project after council delay

A social housing project in the Salt River area has been stalled after the Cape Town City council asked for more time before making a decision.

Council was meant to announce its decision on the sale of City-owned land to housing non-profit organisation Communicare for redevelopment on Thursday.

But the decision was pushed back to the next council meeting, which will apparently take place late in November.

Also read: Derelict buildings in Parow earmarked for social housing

Ward councillor Dave Bryant says come caucus members want a more detailed presentation on the proposed development.

They also want clarity on two inconsistent valuations of the City-owned property, he says.

Bryant explains that the City will sell the land to Communicare for 10% of the valuation cost in exchange for the cross-subsidised housing model, which is why an accurate valuation is important.

Bryant maintains that the delays on the City council's part are in the interest of due diligence.

But Communicare CEO Anthea Houston says she's disappointed in the delay and unconvinced that all will be finalised next month.

Communicare plans to build a high-rise building. 300 of the 850 housing units would be allocated to social housing for households earning less than R15 000.

Read more: Communicare confirms clean-up operation will open space for deserving tenants

It's in the public interest that the state release land for social housing at a much more speedy pace, Houston insists.

The land in question is Salt River Market along Voortrekker Road, located on two MyCiTi bus routes and alongside Salt River train station.

Houston explains how mixed-income developments work and the planning of the project which started in 2014.

We're pretty sure it's going to be a relatively short delay. The decisions to refer the item back is purely a procedural one.

Dave Bryant Ward Councillor, City Bowl And Surrounds at City of Cape Town

Essentially, the caucus have asked for certain issues to be clarified.

Dave Bryant Ward Councillor, City Bowl And Surrounds at City of Cape Town

There were some queries raised regarding the valuation. The one valuation valued the site at R18 million, the other valued the site at R114 million.

Dave Bryant Ward Councillor, City Bowl And Surrounds at City of Cape Town

It's disappointing that there is another delay. Every time we get close to a decision, it keeps getting knocked back.

Anthea Houston, CEO at Communicare

It's in the public interest that the state release land for social housing at a much more speedy pace. Four years is just too long.

Anthea Houston, CEO at Communicare

We've walked a very long road with the City of Cape Town just to access this land, which is still out of reach. Four years to design a project.

Anthea Houston, CEO at Communicare

Listen to the discussion on The John Maytham Show:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : City promises decision on Salt River social housing project after council delay


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