The City of Cape Town, Western Cape Government (WCG), Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) and Concor Developments with its social housing partner, Own Haven Housing Association, affordable housing project at the old Conradie Hospital site in Pinelands is making steady progress.

The lounge area. Image credit: City of Cape Town

The lounge area. Image credit: City of Cape Town

This mega mixed income, mixed-use project, called Conradie Park, is being made possible through solid partnerships. It comprises affordable subsidy rental and mortgage housing units. Excitingly it contains 530 financed-linked individual subsidy (FLISP) funded units – a subsidy for first-time homeowners that is administered by the WCG, working with the banking sector. This project contains South Africa’s first vertical FLISP development.

A walkabout took place recently to check on construction that is under way in this mixed housing development. The first phase of the social housing blocks comprising 432 units is earmarked to be tenanted from December 2021 and the second phase comprising 659 units is earmarked to commence construction from approximately March 2022 if all goes according to plan. In total, this well-located development consists of 3 600 residential units, including social and affordable market units with schools, a retail centre and retail shops on the ground-floor of several of the social housing blocks.

“This R3-billion project sums up our vision for Cape Town – an inclusive space where the city, government, the private sector and beneficiaries work together to create well located, mixed income and mixed-use developments that shatter the spatial walls created by the apartheid government. This could be a blueprint for how we do things in Cape Town and in the Western Cape and a first of its kind in South Africa. Access to well-located affordable housing in cities such as Cape Town is critical. We need to do more; we need to do it faster and we need to do it together. A municipality on its own cannot solve the human settlements crisis in South Africa. We need greater partnerships and innovation to tackle the crisis and the City thanks our partners the Western Cape Government, Social Housing Regulatory Authority, Concor and Own Haven Housing Association for their invaluable work,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi.

Building in progress. Image credit: City of Cape Town

Building in progress. Image credit: City of Cape Town

“This project is quite phenomenal. We started construction eighteen months ago and we’ve gone from strength to strength. What has been quite amazing has been the interest in the FLISP units especially and we’ve all but sold all those units. We are looking whether it would be feasible to expand the FLISP-related units due to the popularity. We’ve seen the most interest in the age group below 35 years old. We are very proud to be working with partners such as the city and the Western Cape Government and we hope to continue to contribute positively to the housing mix in Cape Town,” said Mark Schonrock from Concor Developments.

“Being involved in driving the social housing development aspects of this project, comprising some 1 291 units ultimately, is such a privilege because as a company we are helping change lives and create opportunities. We will be incredibly proud come December 2021 when the first tenants take occupation of their units in time for their first Christmas in Conradie Park,” Andrew Wiseman, managing director, Own Haven Housing Association.

“Enabling well-located mixed-use projects with such a strong focus on partnerships is essential if we are to work on eradicating the shortage of affordable housing in South Africa. We need new ways of delivery at scale, with innovation and partnership. This mega project contains South Africa’s first vertical FLISP development and we hope to enable more projects like these across the metro and the Western Cape. We remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society,” said the Western Cape Government’s Minister for Human Settlements, Minister Tertius Simmers.

Central Cape Town Social Housing projects at various stages include:

  • Projects nearing construction phase include Pine Road (about 240 social housing units) and Dillon Road (+/- 150) in Woodstock; Salt River Market (+/- 200); and Maitland (+/- 200).
  • Potential projects at early feasibility stage in the inner-city pipeline include the Fruit and Veg site in Roeland Street, Cape Town, among other opportunities.
  • Projects undergoing land use management processes to be made available for social housing include New Market (+/- 300); Pickwick (+/- 400); and Woodstock Hospital precinct (+/-700).
  • Woodstock Hospital, one of the City’s largest priority projects in central Cape Town, has favourable conditions for development but has been delayed by orchestrated building hijacking which occurred in 2017. The City has since sought to unlock the known potential of the site for social housing, while following the correct legal processes/routes.
  • Western Cape Government-driven projects, supported by the city, include this Conradie development in the inner-city feeder suburb of Pinelands, Founders Garden, Foreshore Precinct and Helen Bowden Nurses Home in Green Point (also subject to a building hijacking by Ndifuna Ukwazi). All have significant potential for social housing unit yields.

‘These projects are going ahead despite many challenges, including constrained national grant-funding, legislative red tape, and the coordinated building hi-jackings. The city will do what it takes to deliver social housing despite these obstacles. The City continues to call on the Minister of Public Works to release certain well-located mega properties in Cape Town for housing,’ said Councillor Booi.