The Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) works towards a future South Africa where citizens live a good quality life in well-located and affordable rental homes.

“However, we cannot achieve this vision without social housing institutions (SHIs) who are ready to undertake and oversee the development of social housing projects,” says John Mofokeng, SD&T Specialist for the SHRA. “To this end, we have been investing our efforts into making the SHI accreditation process more accessible and inclusive,” reports Mofokeng.

The SHRA does not directly develop social housing projects. Rather, it coordinates and regulates the industry to ensure social housing projects are functional, efficient, and integrated, delivered to a high quality by a value chain of transformed entities. SHIs are non-profit companies which develop, own, and manage social housing projects, which is affordable rental accommodation. They are accredited by the SHRA, to which they report to on a regular basis.

“To be able to partner with the SHRA, which undertakes development and management functions, SHIs must be accredited by the SHRA. Once accreditation is received, SHI’s should have housing stock under management, and they are required to report to the SHRA regularly.”

“SHIs and other delivery agents (ODAs) are crucial to meeting our mandate. We cannot work in isolation and have been engaging these and other stakeholders to hear their ideas and pivot our operations to ensure that we remain helpful, relevant, and approachable,” adds Mofokeng.

Demystifying the accreditation process

“The accreditation process can seem daunting and difficult to aspiring SHIs, but there are two sides of the coin. On the one side, the SHRA cannot relax our expectations of accredited SHIs – we must trust that accredited entities are capable and proficient, fully equipped to manage the complexities inherent in social housing projects. On the other side, the road does not end if your accreditation is unsuccessful on the first try. We stand ready to help you along the way, guiding you until you get it right,” explains Lesego Diale, Marketing and Communications Manager of the SHRA. “We will not close the door on you. Rather, we will partner with you to see you to success.”

Diale encourages aspiring SHIs to engage with the SHRA over their various channels. “We have been investing in social media, webinars, information sessions and training programmes which are all geared towards preparing entities for the accreditation process. The year has seen excellent engagement over these channels, and we hope this grows into 2022,” Diale says. Furthermore, in-person engagement sessions are planned around the country for the next quarter.

In the past financial year, there were eight fully accredited and 18 conditionally accredited institutions which had projects under management, meaning there were 26 entities reporting to the SHRA. “We are committed to not only growing the social housing sector, but to transforming it. We are focusing our attention on women, youth, and persons living with disabilities – these individuals must be empowered to see their SHIs through to success. We look forward to undertaking on-the-ground initiatives next year which will aid in this regard,” says Mofokeng. Diale adds that this extends to ODAs too, who stand to benefit from the many business opportunities presented by the social housing value chain.

“We are here for you. The SHRA exists for the benefit of the entire social housing sector – and ultimately for social housing beneficiaries – as we work together to house South Africa’s people. We look forward to further stakeholder engagements into the new year as we continue to foster transparency, quality, and accountability in the sector,” concludes Diale.