Plans are in motion for a US $71m integrated housing development on the outskirts of Eastern Cape’s Despatch that will provide homes for 45 000 residents over the next 15 years. The Florida Heights development will break ground in December.
According to the developer, the first phase of the government-backed project will generate nearly 10 000 direct and indirect job opportunities over five years. The national housing department is responsible for funding the project.
The first phase of the project will see 1 020 housing units developed alongside community and mixed use facilities. These will include space for a mall, landscaped public spaces and community facilities. A total of 740 of the units built in phase one will be social housing apartments for rent, while 100 units will form part of the finance linked individual subsidy program (FLISP).
Phase two will include another 12 030 units and will reach completion in 15 years. The scheme will go a long way towards alleviating the metro’s housing backlog of over 80 000 units. This is according to the national Housing Development Agency’s technical assessment framework report for the scheme.
The report indicates that the development could benefit residents through the upgrading of the existing road network to accommodate the additional traffic. Furthermore, the area is also well located in terms of places of employment and main transportation routes.
The project was a significant shift away from the government’s approach to addressing the backlog, Clayton Johnson-Goddard, an urban designer on the project, said. According to him, integrated developments should create neighbourhoods and communities that serve and benefit each aspect of a person’s livelihood.
Integrated developments such as Florida Heights are the first concrete moves away from the government’s RDP housing schemes – a result of the Social Housing Act of 2009.
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