HOUSING: One Thousand Homes Handed to New Owners in Delft
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Yesterday, 10 months after one of the biggest home invasions in South Africa’s history, 1 000 homes in Delft were handed to their rightful new owners by Lindiwe Sisulu, the Minister of Housing.
Damage to the homes following the invasion has been repaired, construction completed and the homes allocated according to the agreed N2 Gateway formula: 70% to former occupants of informal settlements (in this instance, mostly from Joe Slovo) and 30% to families that used to live in backyards in the vicinity of the development.
Approximately 1700 Delft Symphony homes in various stages of completion were invaded last December by backyard dwellers duped into believing that if they did not grab the homes they would all be allocated to former informal settlement residents.
The invaders were evicted in February by order of the Cape High Court. Some of these families now live in a temporary camp provided by the City of Cape Town (called Blikkiestown by the residents); approximately 100 families have elected to stay in shacks along Symphony Way opposite the project – and about 200 families who were verified N2 Gateway beneficiaries have been officially allocated new homes.
The Delft Symphony homes are of the Breaking New Ground (BNG) variety, the new standard introduced with the new integrated housing policy of the same name to replace RDP production.
Whereas RDP homes were 20-27 square metre single bedroom structures, BNG homes are 40 square metres in extent and contain two bedrooms, a bathroom, open plan living area and kitchen. The first BNG home in the country was handed over to an Aunty Katie Hoffman in Delft Symphony in June 2007.
The N2 Gateway is altogether delivering nearly 11000 homes in Delft, 2400 of them in Symphony. Approximately 9000 of the 11000 total will be given free to families qualifying for the full housing subsidy from government. The remainder are a combination of affordable bonded and rental stock, for families that do not qualify for the subsidy.
Opposite Delft Symphony, in the area known only as Delft Precincts 7-9, homes are flying off the production line at a rate of approximately 100 per week. Ten months ago, when Delft Symphony was invaded, there were five or six show houses at Delft 7-9 – and nothing else. Today, if you stand in the middle of the area, there are homes under construction as far as the eye can see. Families are moving in daily. Schools have been built, with community centres and food gardens to come.
This is said to be the biggest single site residential housing development in Cape Town’s history. A total of 4750 homes are on the Delft 7-9 schedule, with approximately half already on the ground in various stages of completion.
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