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Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu on 2010-02-26" />
Affordable housing key to economic and social sustainability in South Africa

LUKESH GOVINDASAMY
The bank's ability to facilitate the delivery of housing through the provision of commercial property finance

First National Bank (FNB) Commercial Property Finance views the provision of affordable housing as a business and social imperative in the socioeconomic development of South Africa.

“We understand the challenges faced by the sector will not be solved through the provision of finance alone but rather through collaboration and partnerships,” says FNB Commercial Property Finance head Lukesh Govindasamy.

He adds that tackling the country’s 2,2-million housing backlog forms part of government’s Breaking New Ground policy and it is possible for banks to participate meaningfully through the provision of bridging finance.

Govindasamy says that FNB Commercial Property Finance is committed to the long-term development and economic prosperity of South Africa and to making a difference in targeted communities, as demonstrated through its focused affordable housing offering. FNB has partnered with government on a number of housing projects to contribute to the housing needs of the country.

“We have had challenges in the past on these projects, as have all the players in the affordable-housing sector, and we have learnt valuable lessons, which have helped guide and mould our approach to affordable housing. “We are committed to the provision of housing solutions of the highest quality. Partnerships will be formed with reputable developers and contractors to provide affordable housing through sharing knowledge and expertise,” he affirms. He says that the bank’s ability to facilitate the delivery of housing through the provision of com- mercial property finance (bridging and development finance) is dependent on numerous other factors being in place, which include mortgage finance and housing demand, appropriate zoning and the availability of bulk infrastructure.

The current economic environment and high household debt are contributors to the mortgage finance approval slowdown.

“Due to these factors, it is difficult to estimate the number of houses that we can build, but we are deeply committed to working with government to facilitate the delivery of quality homes on a sustainable basis.”

Article by: By: Dennis Ndaba - www.engineeringnews.co.za
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu