Absa, E Cape govt partner on housing

28 September 2010

The Eastern Cape government has entered into a partnership with Absa to improve access to affordable housing in the province, particularly targeting middle-income earners who do not qualify for low-cost housing but cannot afford expensive bonds either.

Eastern Cape Human Settlements MEC Nombulelo Mabandla and Absa Development Company (Absa DevCo) signed the co-operation partnership agreement on Monday.

The projected housing units will be available for lease or purchase, targeting families with a combined monthly income of not more than R15 498, as well as those who have no income.

Identifying projects, developing proposals

As part of the agreement, Absa will identify projects and develop proposals for the department’s approval.

The housing will be built throughout the province, particularly in rural areas, in a mixed mode of rental and home ownership, with the aim of integrating communities into sustainable human settlements, the department said.

The agreement is expected to be of particular benefit to middle-income earners who do not qualify for low-cost housing but cannot afford expensive bonds either.

“We want to maximise the impact of private and public sector resources to accelerate the delivery of tenure, with good quality services and housing, on well located land with convenient access to transport options, jobs and other economic opportunities,” Mabandla said.

Thornhill housing project

The provincial government already has a successful partnership with Absa DevCo at the Thornhill housing project outside Port Alfred, where the bank has been appointed as the implementing agent to build 5 000 homes.

Mabandla said the government needed the participation of the private sector to provide decent, affordable housing in the country, adding that the department was looking forward to working with other financial institutions on similar projects.

“The provision of decent homes must not only be responsibility of government alone,” she said.

Source: BuaNews