Cape Town Mayor, Patricia De Lille, has brought forward a proposal that may be a landmark decision for low-income housing in the City. The Zero2One skyscraper, to be built on the block surrounded by Adderley, Strand, St George and Waterkant streets, will be the city’s tallest skyscraper – and will house low-income earners.
Although the entire building will not cater to low-income residents, a significant part of it will be set aside for residents who earn less than R15 000 per month.
The developers, FWJK, submitted an application to build Cape Town’s tallest skyscraper and requested additional rights to build higher up than what is allowed by the zoning scheme.
Ndifuna Ukwazi, an activist organisation, objected on spatial justice grounds, and argued that less than 6% of black and coloured families would not be able to able to purchase even the cheapest apartment.
“The Municipal Planning Tribunal approved the development in December with an affordable housing condition, but it was vague and unenforceable,” the organisation said in a statement. “Ndifuna Ukwazi then appealed this decision to the mayor asking for clarity.”
On May 18th, Mayor De Lille announced that she was considering the Ndifuna Ukwazi appeal, and proposed an amendment to the Zero2One approval, saying that 20% of the additional space applied for and granted for the residential component of the development will be units of 30 metres square or less. These units will be reserved for sale for households who earn R15 000 or less per month, and qualify for housing according to the City’s housing database.
Owners of the affordable units will only be able to sell to other households which earn R15 000 or less within the first eight years of purchasing the unit.
De Lille has requested that those who object to submit their comments by 1 June 2018. The exact number of low-income-friendly units that will be incorporated into Zero2One is still unclear.
Ndifuna Ukwazi described the proposal as a ‘landmark decision’. The organisation states that the City has recognised its obligations to advance spatial justice and equitable access to housing and land through land-use decisions.