Keyword: housing

Cities Need to Plan with the Poor, Not for the Poor

Picture credit: A South African shack settlement in an urban area courtesy jason&molly/Flickr. Felicity Kitchin - “People who live in the shacks have other people planning for their lives; whatever they get is not planned with them; there are people planning for them.” – Resident of Siyanda, eThekwini Recent riots in Zamdela in the Free State have brought the issue of community participation in development decision-making into sharp focus. Zamdela revealed a complete lack of regard for an affected community’s input into a key decision that would have far reaching implications...

South Africa's Non-Existent Affordable Housing Programme

Picture credit: www.elger.ru Anna Majavu - The government's recent demolition of houses in Lenasia, apart from anything else, has exposed how inadequate the state is at providing housing for those who neither qualify for bank mortgages, nor for RDP houses. The Lenasia families seem to fall into the category of those who qualify for so-called “gap housing” on the basis that they earn between R2200 and about R7500 per month and can therefore afford to pay for their homes. However, gap housing is being rolled out at a...

Venezuela's Housing Revolution

Picture credit: As seen on The Real News Network Video Venezuela is experiencing a new housing boom. Cranes can be seen dotting the skyline of the capitol, Caracas, from the central district to the outskirts of the city. The new buildings popping up all over the city are part of a state-led housing initiative seeking to revolutionize access to housing and democratize the city's space. Venezuela's new housing projects are funded by the country's vast nationalized oil reserves. The program, which started in April 2011 has already constructed...

Demolishing Homes, Dismantling Dreams, Destroying Lives

Picture credit: theonlydemocracy.org Gillian Schutte - It was with sheer terror that we witnessed the grotesque spectacle of the bulldozing of fully built brick and mortar houses in Lenasia by government officials last week. Images of desperate women being pulled out of their houses and attempting to stop bulldozers from demolishing their lives haunt our recent memories. This was reminiscent of the forced removals of yesteryear when fully settled communities were forced out of their homes by a draconian apartheid government. What could prompt...

Lenasia Resident Speaks of Housing Scam

Picture credit: As seen on Media For Justice. Video Nonhlanhla Pholo explains how she bought her land in Lenasia, in what she thought was a legitimate deal through a housing department agent. Now her home is earmarked for demolition by the Johannesburg Department of Housing. She feels victimized twice over, as she has already had to rebuild her house after a developer scammed her by building a house that was not passed by building inspectors. All her savings are invested in her new home and she is in danger of losing everything. ©...

The Psychological Cost of Living in an Informal Settlement: 'Like a Mountain Fell on Me'

Picture credit: Anna from the Grabouw Informal Settlement Courtesy Lino Steenkamp/Flickr Anna Majavu - The “overwhelming adversity” they had to face daily as a result of living in an informal dwelling felt “like a mountain fell on me”, said one Cape Town resident. Politicians from across the spectrum have lied to the public for years about their plans to “eradicate”, “upgrade” and “transform” informal settlements. They have forced communities out of informal settlements into equally horrible transit camps or temporary relocation...