Huge affordable housing project on cards for BCM

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The Buffalo City Metro is forging ahead with plans to develop more than 4000 low-cost housing units in Amalinda, Braelyn and Duncan Village’s C-Section and hopes the construction of the houses will commence next year.

The projects are set to bring some relief to East London residents who are struggling to secure affordable accommodation or home loans.

BCM Mayor Xola Pakati

The metro has partnered with international and local stakeholders in the new housing project.

The partnership includes stakeholders from the Netherlands and the Eastern Cape-based Dr Beyers Naudé Municipality and will seek to implement a social housing pilot project in the metro, similar to one being implemented in Camdeboo.

The BCM council recently resolved that sites in C-Section, Braelyn and Amalinda Junction should be prioritised and that a business plan be developed around those sites in order to source approval and funding from the Eastern Cape department of human settlements.

Since the twinning agreement between BCM, Dr Beyers Naudé Municipality, the Vereeniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten (VNG), International Cooperation Agency of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities, and Dutch consulting company “We Love The City” was approved last year, a working session took place from November 28 to December 9 last year between the involved parties.

“A total of 4350 housing units are estimated to be constructed in the three areas,” former acting head for BCM’s human settlements Sandile Booi said in his report.

The housing types include units for young professionals, services sites and community residential units, among other types.

Booi said “beneficiaries from other areas of the metro would need to be accommodated as well in line with the allocation and reallocation policy of BCM”.

“The year 2017 has been targeted for the completion of the business plan for the Amalinda, Braelyn and C-Section. The second target is to submit the business plan to the provincial department of human settlements for securing the funding.

“Construction is estimated to start by 2018 in Amalinda and Braelyn provided that funding has been secured,” said Booi.

However, human settlements spokesman Lwandile Sicwetsha told the Daily Dispatch yesterday that the department had not received an application regarding the project and “it’s not on the plans for this year”. Land invasion at the Braelyn site was, however, highlighted as a challenge.

BCM mayor Xola Pakati said the project would be implemented as soon as the negotiations between the city and provincial government were completed.

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