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Housing challenge met through successful partnering

 


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The City of Cape Town has continued to gain momentum in recent months through a series of succesful ventures that have benefitted the city immensly. And adding to that momentum they can add the Housing Project of the Year award, that the city has won for its work in the new gap housing project in Elsies river, in conjunction with Standard Bank and Bitol Developments.

Source: City of Cape Town

The City of Cape Town, in partnership with Standard Bank and Bitol Developments, has won a Southern African Housing Foundation merit award for its new gap housing project in Elsies River.

The Housing Project of the Year award is given to organisations that ‘identify, encourage and promote good practice in housing design development and management’. It is also awarded for ‘innovative use and management of human resources, financing options and technologies as well as the contribution to community development and management.’

In this instance, the bank, municipality and developer teamed up to deliver Leo Mews, an ‘aesthetically pleasing, affordable high density housing development that is also socially and environmentally sustainable for all stakeholders.’

“The City is very pleased that this ground-breaking project has been recognised,” said Executive Mayor Alderman Dan Plato.

“It is a tangible symbol of the City of Cape Town’s commitment to make ‘gap housing market’ housing a reality for households earning between
R7 200 – R10 000 per month."
 
The City of Cape Town/Banks Co-operation Agreement was concluded on 16 May 2006, he added. “This was the first operational and tangible partnership between a local authority and the major national banks. The rationale underpinning the agreement is that the City allocates appropriate land to the banks to facilitate the development of affordable housing and the banks provide the finance and development expertise.

“We realised that there were many people in Cape Town, including backyarders, who do not qualify for subsidised housing but earn too little to afford to enter the conventional housing market. They earn less than R10 000 a month and neither the developers nor the banks cater for this market. We believed that the problem could be solved if a synergy could be created between affordable land being provided by the municipality and buy-in from banks and developers. Leo Mews proves that the concept is viable,” he said. 

“Standard Bank and Bitol met these criteria with Leo Mews by supplying housing that, apart from its price, would not be out of place in more up-market residential areas. The developer also spent considerable time helping residents in a nearby older area with maintenance and cosmetic changes that improved the entire area- reducing the contrast between the old and the new in Elsies River. As a result there is a strong sense of community between new residents in Leo Mews and established residents in the area,” said Kevin Duncan, Managing Director of Standard Bank’s Integrated Residential Developments division (IRDev).

“The Leo Mews development sets new standards in the industry, being constructed in alignment with the Five-Star Green Building rating system.

Each of the 125 units has a solar water heating system, fitted carpets and tiles, secure parking, a CCTV monitoring system and access control. There is a system for reclaiming ‘grey water’ used for household purposes and storage, and a reclaimable water system is used for toilets and lawn irrigation.  All units have been equipped with waste separation bins divided into compartments for glass, paper, aluminum, plastic and non-recyclable goods.

The units sell for between R237 000 and R254 000.

“We are proud of the Leo Mews development, which is innovative, eco-friendly and provides accommodation to a segment of the population that has traditionally been excluded from quality accommodation because of affordability issues. This is an excellent example of what can be achieved when a municipality, financial institution and developer have a strong partnership.”

“We believe that the development contributes significantly to the economic and social upliftment of the community,” said Duncan.

Martin Pollack


Date Posted: 2009-10-21
Posted By: CITY OF CAPE TOWN
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