Once a house, now a home
She lived in a backyard for 30 years before moving into a council house four years ago. And now Athlone resident Hilda Noah, 69, has been handed the title deed to the house she can now call home.
Hilda Noah is one of the 25 Athlone residents who received title deeds to their homes.
Noah was among 25 residents who received title deeds to the houses they have been living in the Kewtown Infil Housing Project.
The deeds were handed over by mayor Patricia de Lille yesterday.
Noah said she had almost given up hope of ever owning a house because she had been on the housing waiting list for so many years.
She said living as a backyarder in Bokmakierie was difficult because she had four children to raise.
"We were always on the move from one backyard to another. You lose your stuff in the move. I have had to leave furniture behind in some cases," Noah said.
She said her children were grown up and she shared the house with one of her daughters. Since retiring as a domestic worker, she has spent a lot of time working in her garden.
Another resident, Moreyda Isaacs, 58, said she had applied for a house twice before she finally moved into her new home.
"I used to share a one-roomed place with my husband and kids in a house that was owned by a friend. And sometimes when my friend's family came to visit, we had to sleep on the floor to make space... thank God I have my own house today," she said.
De Lille explained yesterday that 236 houses would be built in the area and that beneficiaries would be from Kewtown, Bokmakierie and Belgravia.
She said the housing project was important because it provided housing for people in an established area that was close to transport routes.
"The provision of new housing opportunities and the affording of title in existing developments are important elements in helping citizens access economic opportunities as well as to redress past imbalances in home ownership," said De Lille.