Property developers told to reduce housing shortage

Zoning off tracts of land for exclusive residential enclaves may soon be a trend of the past, according to the department of housing. The government has persuaded real estate agents, property developers, banks and construction companies to help reduce South Africa's housing shortage.

The department has partnered with the biggest banking groups to make R42 billion available over four years to put housing loans within the reach of those previously deemed a risk. At least 20% of all investment in residential property will also be made available for low-cost housing. In return, government will ensure that red tape, which usually results in delays to property development, is cut short.

Thabang Chiloane, the spokesperson for the department of housing, says a working committee consisting of bank and government that has been meeting over the past six weeks, will submit a report to the minister today. The report is expected to discuss how the R42 million will be broken down and spent.

He says it has not yet been finalised whether the 20% allocated to low-cost housing will be calculated as a percentage of the cost of the project, or the housing space.

Chiloane says developers will be required to build houses for lower income earner who are mostly people that serve high income earners in the vicinity. He says this will eventually encourage the integration of children of low-income earners into the community.

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