In some countries on the African continent, like South Africa, there are some big financial groups who have raised billions for housing projects for people that earn in the lower income groups. These financial groups, like big banks, have raised the financial means for the affordable housing construction in its government housing projects, both for sale and for rent, as well as providing housing loans and rental accommodation for families and students. This is all going a long way in helping to fill a serious gap in the market between government-provided housing and those who have access to bank finance to purchase or even building their own homes.
Partnerships formed to raise money
The government has made a call to the private sectors to assist in finding lasting solutions to the housing shortage challenge in the country. Even though there is much remaining that still needs to be done to further improve general living conditions around the country, it is believed that a successful model for housing investment in underdeveloped areas has been established. This includes financing solutions for end-users, which have previously been neglected by institutional investors due to the high level of risk that there is in this industry. These sustainable partnerships between the government and the financial institutions have a key role to play in South Africa’s successful development of affordable government housing projects, which is going a long way in helping to overcome the economic and social challenges that are faced in the country.
Generation of employment and skills
A mass government housing programme can help towards generating employment, skills and economic activity, both directly and indirectly. It should help ensure peace and stability. Although housing may be arranged by a range of parties, the government is ultimately responsible for ensuring that housing is provided to all. It must create policy frameworks and legislative support so that this is possible, and it must allocate funds from the budget to reach these goals so that housing is affordable to even the poorest South Africans.
The approach to affordable housing, infrastructure and services must involve and empower communities to have affordable, developmental and sustainable housing. The government is commencing to establish viable communities in areas close to economic opportunities and close to health facilities, education, social amenities and transport infrastructures as well.
Affordable government housing projects must ensure the provision of housing that protects inhabitants from weather. Each house must be built of durable structures and consist of reasonable living space and privacy. The government housing projects include houses with should have sanitary facilities, storm-water drainage, electricity and convenient access to clean water. Moreover it must provide for secure tenure as well.
The way forward
Government has committed itself to unblocking the bottle necks which have developed along the way and which resulted in slowing down delivery of bulk housing, and in turn, the private sector is also ploughing back into these big housing projects. These undertakings include a commitment from the construction sector to ensure that the houses are delivered at scale to ensure that by 2014 South Africa is free of slums and most of its people are living in affordable houses with all the necessary services available to them.