Private sector developers are to receive access to land the size of 10 soccer fields, in order to build affordable homes for thousands of poorer families within 5km of central Cape Town.

The City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron, unveiled the five parcels of council-owned land on Wednesday.

These are:

– A 3.3 hectare site in Pickwick Road, Salt River;

– The 1.84ha Woodstock Hospital site;

– Woodstock Hospital Park, opposite the hospital;

– A 0.84ha site in New Market Street, Woodstock; and

– A 0.27ha site in Canterbury Street in the inner city, currently leased to Fruit and Veg City

Herron said the launch of large-scale affordable housing on well-located council-owned land was a momentous occasion.

“Building inclusive communities through reversing the spatial legacy o apartheid is a key priority of this government. South African cities should break with the past where our urban form is defined by poorer families living on the fringes,” he said.

Development sites were in the Voorstrekker Road corridor, one of the three “integration zones”, intended for massive infrastructural investment to “transform Cape Town’s spatial reality”.

“By prioritising dense, transit-orientated growth and development in this integration zone, the city seeks to create more inclusive communities with access to improved services, job opportunities, and affordable housing and public transport.” said Herron.

Two sites had been earmarked for Cape Town’s first inner-city transitional housing projects, as well as three other sites in the same area already being allocated to social housing institutions.

Herron said the development of the sites “must also assist us to preserve the social diversity and unique character of areas like Woodstock and Salt River in the midst of rapid urbanisation and rising property prices … We estimate that‚ once completed‚ the developments will benefit at least 4‚000 lower-income households.

“More information about the sites‚ the strategic overview‚ design and housing typologies‚ closing date for development proposals from the private sector … and the bid evaluation process‚ among others‚ is included in the prospectus.

We will issue the prospectus within the next three weeks‚ if all goes as planned.”

Herron said he’d already met with residents’ and ratepayers’ associations, public information sessions about the plans would be held, and residents would have a say on rival developers’ proposals for the sites.

Mayor Patricia de Lille said that aside from providing social housing, the main criteria developers would have to meet, being innovation and design, green technology, and long-term financial sustainability.

“We are looking for sustainable‚ integrated solutions for human settlements and bringing innovation into the plans with the use different types of building materials‚ not just brick and mortar‚ the use of green technologies and … water and energy efficiency‚” she said.

Photography TravelGround

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