The August issue of Housing in Southern Africa highlights greening social housing developments and funding options.
The Trust for Urban Housing Finance (TUHF) is empowering inner city entrepreneurs through training and mentoring programmes.
Paying it forward, the eThekwini Municipality has introduced a new payment system for electricity and water utilities. The new system puts the onus on the tenant rather than the landlord to pay for services.
Wits will host a two-day workshop on South African Cities in November 2012.
The repo rate cut by the Monetary Policy Committee offers welcome relief to new home owners.
Getting TUHF on the inner city
Empowering inner city entrepreneurs, inner city investment specialist, Trust for Urban Housing Finance (TUHF), has increased its R1,4 billion portfolio by an additional R125 million from government's development financial institution, a private asset management fund and the Public Investment Corporation.
With over 18 000 inner city units, TUHF has added a further 3 500 in the past year.
Greening for social housing
Elize Stroebel, CEO of the Johannesburg Housing Company offered insights into greening social housing at the recent SHIFT/NASHO conference.
Stroebel took part in a social housing tour in the United States and had an opportunity to gain greater knowledge on green technology from American social housing providers.
She recommended that the National Association of Social Housing Associations address the shortcomings of the current subsidy structures with the Department of Human Settlements and the Department of Minerals and Energy. Her American counterparts had successfully implemented greening measures through state subsidy mechanisms such as pre-fund development dollars, through the ‘Moving To Work' (MTW) and ‘American Recovery and Reinvestment Act' (ARRA) grants. This has resulted in massive savings for the social housing provider and improved their sustainability.
Repo cut boosts economy
The Monetary Policy Committee's decision to reduce the repo rate by half a percentage to 5% is welcome news. Although inflation is lower, consumers continue to feel the pressure of high and ever-increasing electricity costs.
Paying it forward - prepaid utilities
The eThekwini Municipality has introduced a new payment system for electricity and water usage, for which the tenants are responsible for rather than the landlord. The netVendor solution is an internet-based, prepaid electricity and water revenue management and vending solution. The system manages the financial switching of funds, the distribution of top-up vouchers, and meter related information.
Improving SA cities
The University of Witwatersrand will host a two-day South African Cities Studies workshop on Empirical Studies, Theory and Criticism, in Johannesburg on November 19th and 20th 2012.
The two day workshop topics include: Political intersections that recast the nature of the political practices in cities, through more grounded and reflective documentation and analyses of new claims and political projects; Urbanisation: economic and social transitions, which have made significant changes in the built environment; City representation: the questions of identity, history and the remaking of urban space; Urban ethnography: a qualitative research design aimed at exploring cultural phenomena and dynamics unfolding in the cities.
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