Inclusive, voluntary housing policy sought

Posted On Wednesday, 11 April 2007 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Commercial property association Sapoa has come out in support of a voluntary, incentivised, inclusive housing policy rather than a compulsory one

Sapoa CEO Neil Gopal

A draft policy on inclusive housing is being negotiated between the national housing department and Sapoa.

The government’s proposed inclusive housing policy aims to set aside a certain percentage of new developments for affordable housing. Some developers have been critical of the proposal, saying it would squeeze already tight profit margins for developers.

Sapoa, which has 850 members including property owners, developers, banks, insurance companies, property professionals and managers, has been engaging with the government on an inclusive housing policy.

Sapoa CEO Neil Gopal said on Tuesday that out of the negotiations, two approaches had been put forward by the government including a voluntary, proactive deal-driven approach and the compulsory but incentivised synchronised (CIS) approach.

“The CIS approach largely attempts to compensate the private sector developers market for distortions that are created. Sapoa does not support this approach,” said Gopal. He said Sapoa was in favour of a voluntary approach that included incentives, as was the case with urban development zones and city improvement districts.

The government also proposes that new developments include up to 30% affordable housing. But Gopal said Sapoa maintained that a blanket requirement was “not the way to go and that projects should be assessed individually. We need to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach.”

Sapoa also warned that inclusive housing could generate unintended costs to low-income households if not carefully located. “To be successful, inclusionary housing must be located in areas that offer social amenities such as schools, clinics and employment opportunities,” he said.

Property economist Francois Viruly said he believed “strongly” that the success of inclusive housing would rely on the promotion of voluntary schemes. “A typical example of this would be Cosmo City (a mixed income development in Johannesburg), where a public-private partnership led to the successful development of an inclusionary housing scheme.”

Last modified on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 17:37

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