News - Inner City Housing Implementation Plan (ICHIP)

As part of the Inner City Transformation Roadmap, ICHIP is a plan for tackling the housing challenge within the inner city and creating safe, clean and connected communities with access to economic opportunities within the area.

The roadmap is a multi-department and multi-entity supported response to the challenges of urbanisation within the inner city.

One of the highest challenges facing the inner city is access to affordable housing and the increase in hijacked buildings. It is estimated that some 30 000 accommodation units are required in the short term to address the needs of the most vulnerable households within the City.

Through the Inner City Housing Implementation Plan, COJ are set to make the inner city housing market work better for the poor.
The plan focuses on addressing three primary objectives:

• Establishing Public-Private Partnerships with developers and Social Housing Institutions;
• Improving the provision of temporary emergency accommodation; and
• Addressing hijacked buildings within the inner city.

Public-Private Partnerships with developers and Social Housing Institutions

A number of private role players already operate within the City providing social housing. Working together with these Social Housing Institutions and private developers, the City is better able to meet the increasing demand for quality low income housing.
Already, a number of institutions have expressed their desire to partner with the City. COJ is in the process of establishing a co-ordinating forum which will champion these partnerships moving forward – something which has never been done in the City before.

The City is already exploring a number of possible incentives to bring more partners on board. These include the provision of:
· Capital or operating subsidies;
· Rates incentives; and
· Long-term leases of buildings.

Temporary Emergency Accommodation

Temporary emergency accommodation is in short supply within the city. Under previous administrations, inadequate attention to the inner city housing crisis and the lack of a management system for temporary emergency accommodation has meant the City has operated with no implementable plan for meeting the demand for emergency shelter.

To begin addressing this, JOSCHO has 2849 units in various stages of development which will be used for this purpose. A property management system is also under development for temporary emergency accommodation in particular.
The City is also eager to partner with the private sector – developers willing to create opportunities for the development of temporary emergency accommodation.

Addressing hijacked buildings within the inner city

The City is in the process of conducting an extensive audit of inner city buildings. The purpose of this audit is to identify hijacked buildings which could be converted into low cost rental stock. The first stage of this audit is being conducted in Jeppestown, with the goal of identifying 25 suitable properties for development.

Added to this, the City is conducting multidisciplinary raids within hijacked buildings in order to fight criminal slum lords who live off the desperate needs of residents. The City is also conducting socio-economic and needs audits of those living within those buildings in the hope of providing much needed support.

Further to this, the City is taking all possible steps to determine the identity of the true owners of hijacked building in order to begin the process of reclaiming these spaces. Where owners cannot be identified, the City will look to acquire these buildings so to utilise them for housing development.