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Wednesday Jul 11, 2012

Turning bad properties into affordable housing

As the City of Tshwane takes steps to deal with "bad buildings", Joburg has taken eight buildings in its inner city and turned them into affordable housing.

The Tshwane Metro Council recently announced that owners of buildings that have been allowed to fall into disrepair will be fined.

The city council also plans to demolish a number of "bad buildings", including the Kruger and Schubart Park flats on the western side of the CBD, and turn them into rental accommodation for low-income earners and students.

The Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) has taken buildings in the CBD, Berea, Joubert Park, Hillbrow and New Doornfontein that had previously been illegally occupied and transformed them into safe and affordable units available from R600 a month.

Joshco chief executive Rory Gallocher said much more needed to be done as there were still about 130 bad buildings in central Joburg.

"Some would be suitable to rehabilitate and redevelop, thereby boosting accommodation supply in the inner city. Order and livability can replace chaos and discomfort through basic management," he said.

Gallocher said business in the inner city wanted good management of buildings. "If they have that, the inner city is an attractive place for business.

The Pretoria News reported this week that criminals were stripping Kruger and Schubart Park of their little remaining materials. The buildings are vacant and have been declared unfit to live in, but desperate residents want to return.

Kruger Park has been empty for years and the Pretoria High Court ruled Schubart Park unsafe for residents to move back in.

Pretoria News

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