The Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) has released its annual report, which shows improvement in its performance in this financial year, compared to the previous financial year. However, the Authority has set its sights on further improvements as it boosts its efforts towards growing and transforming the social housing sector.

Image credit: Acting CEO, Mpolai Nkopane

Image credit: Acting CEO, Mpolai Nkopane

“We have been focused on building and formalising stakeholder partnerships, while continuing to deliver primarily on our MTSF targets and generally on our mandate.  Our stakeholder partnership work includes the implementation of the incubation project for SHIs and ODAs, the municipal support project, and other work we’ve been conducting with partners to enhance their capacity to deliver on the social housing programme. Training, best practice, and awareness sessions also continued,” comments SHRA Acting CEO Mpolai Nkopane.

The SHRA has been steadily improving performance since 2018/19 and has shown a positive growth trend in the number of units under regulation, which has almost doubled since 2015/16. The figure now stands at 40 628 units. In the past financial year, there were eight fully accredited and 18 conditionally accredited institutions with projects under management, meaning there were 26 entities reporting to the SHRA. “We look forward to growing this number into the next financial year,” says Nkopane.

Through the implementation of the new compliance, accreditation and regulations; and the project funding and development operating frameworks, the SHRA has shifted to a more proactive approach to increasing the pace and scale of accreditation and unit delivery, and assisting stakeholders in structuring projects. The procedures to register a project in the pipeline, and methods to support projects in the pipeline have also been revised to enable increased stakeholder participation in social housing delivery.

Training and transformation

Training sessions presented over the year included best practice working sessions on the SHRA’s response to gender-based violence, community development initiatives, rent collections/vacancy management, good governance, project packaging, and introduction of social housing to new and potential entrants.

Nkopane reports: “The training programme saw 1 128 participants enlisted for the year, with our analysis showing that approximately 58% of attendees were female, 42% youth and 4% military veterans. These are very encouraging statistics, and we will strive to improve on these numbers as our efforts towards sector transformation start to bear fruit.” Various awareness sessions were also held during the period under review, with a focus on designated groups to ensure more representation of these groups in future social housing developments.

Further work was done with the Black Business Council in the Built Environment (BBCBE) and SA Women in Construction and Built Environment (SAWIC&BE) to facilitate continued working relationships in support of the designated groups participating in social housing. Engagements with the Health and Welfare SETA and Gender Equality Commission were also initiated to create more opportunities for community development and gender mainstreaming.

“The year under review ushered in a renewal of purpose and a collective commitment to re-ignite growth towards strengthening the economy, for a more resilient and regulated social housing sector. It was not an easy year for any industry, but we believe the SHRA has implemented many initiatives which will drive progress in our sector through the next financial year,” concludes Nkopane.