Learn more about Human Settlements at Garden Route District Municipality

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The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and the Western Cape Government (WCG) Department of Human Settlements (DHS) represented respectively by Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen and MEC Tertuis Simmers, recently concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation relating to housing programmes between their respective spheres of government. This is a high-level arrangement between a WCG Department and a District Municipality, that seeks to strengthen endeavours to realise specific housing interventions of a mixed range and options. These interventions still have to be unpacked, requires a number of steps and developments before the GRDM is able to implement and make available various low to medium-income household options within the boundaries of the Garden Route.

It is therefore important to note that these projects have not yet been realised, but that further formal announcements about related progress and specific locations where such projects have been deemed feasible enough to implement, will be made to members of the public in due course. This will allow the GRDM and its member municipalities to cater for the required beneficiaries as and when projects are in a state of readiness to be offered to the public.

In summary, therefore, GRDM is still in the process of developing a system that will include projects, which will be linked to specific locations. A formal announcement will be made to the public and/or interested households in due course.

Frequently Asked Questions (click on the crosses to view answers)

What is the meaning or intent of the MoU?

It is a high level document between the GRDM and the WCDoHS to broadly demonstrate their respective intent to cooperate on a number of specific affordable housing programmes and projects.

When will the related projects be launched?

These projects will be pursued on the basis of the normal planning and feasibility exercise and subsequently deemed to be feasible for implementation, will be offered on the basis of a database of beneficiaries or interested persons who qualify as per category of project requirements.

How can I apply for same as a member of the public?

The qualification criteria will be linked to the specific project and be informed primarily by normal housing legislation guidelines and measurement criteria which will be announced or communicated by the GRDM at the appropriate time. Also you may register your need in the meanwhile at your local municipality or on the Western Cape Government App for new registrations or to update their details that is available on both the iOS and Android platforms.

Will these Projects be in the Garden Route and if so, where?

As is well known, the jurisdictional authority of the GRDM covers the 7 Local Authorities of Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, Oudsthoon, Hessequa and Kannaland. Depending on project viability, these projects will be located in areas that are deemed to be viable for related implementation by appointed professional teams and contractor(s)

How do I become part of the creditworthiness rehabilitation process in preparedness/ anticipation of the future projects?

This is a new  program which has been introduced by the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements (WCDoHS)  and is normally run in tandem with confirmed committed financed linked projects like Gap Housing and FLISP (Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Projects). These are in the main projects that promote individual ownership for low to medium income households who traditionally struggle to meet the standard banking criteria to obtain mortgage finance or bond to buy a unit within these schemes. It is therefore linked to the overall Consumer Education interventions promoted by the WCDoHS and participating municipalities.

If potential beneficiaries who are listed in a formal database therefore which is linked to such planned or committed ownership projects are indebted and require rehabilitation, they will therefore be offered the opportunity to liaise with  already appointed service by the WCDoHS to offer such a service. This is also a Consumer Education service normally offered by the Provincial authority and linked municipalities.  Participating Municipalities in the GRDM areas of jurisdiction must first have a defined finance linked ownership project linked to a database of potential beneficiaries which will be key in determining those that require support to enhance their credit worthiness and ability to obtain a government guarantee with related bank finance to buy a targeted unit for ownership purposes.

When will the new housing projects come to fruition or be implemented?

Once the necessary project preparation and packaging has been done following feasibility exercise to determine related viability, there will be a formal announcement and advertisement by council to that effect.

Will affordability be part of your housing programmes and projects?

The priority focus for all GRDM and other Municipalities that constitute the District Municipality will be on low-income households with affordability one of the key objectives.

What does it mean to rent through your planned social housing products?

Council intends to form formal partnership arrangements with accredited social housing institutions that will undertake related projects for targeted and qualifying affordable rental clients. These housing institutions will therefore develop and manage such rental assets exclusively for affordable rental purposes which will include undertaking the applicable beneficiation processes and customer relations requirements to those who have been successfully accorded the status of being successful tenants.

Is it better to choose to own or rent an affordable housing unit?

Such a choice will be left to the applicant to exercise as the intent is to provide choice since households have different needs and interests relative to affordable housing options.

Will we live next to better facilities and near to social and economic facilities?

Yes indeed as related government policies and development programmes promote the need for long term integration of communities in well located areas with sufficient infrastructure and related services.