Transitional Housing In Urban Regeneration Precincts

May 9, 2018

NASHO and Equal Spaces, with the assistance of the Government of Canada, who is the major funder of the Equal Spaces Programme through Global Affairs Canada, host a 2 day workshop on the 7th and 8th of March 2018 around Transitional Housing in Urban Regeneration Precincts.


The provision of well-located transitional housing under sustainable management has long provided major challenges to urban regeneration in South Africa.  The provision of such housing, targeted at households living informally in the city or who have no viable alternatives after eviction, provides a significant challenge in areas where City regeneration efforts are focusing extending formal affordable residential opportunities while the chosen lands/buildings are illegally occupied.

The solving of this problem is very important in ensuring the rights of such households but also in releasing inner city land and buildings for formal development of social housing, creation of affordable rental housing and stabilisation of inner city areas. The South African Constitution and linked guiding Court judgements place an obligation on municipalities to provide at least temporary accommodation where such households do not have alternative accommodation.  This creates an urgency to tackle practical solutions to unblock development of these parcels while providing reasonable solutions to relocation of illegal occupants and development of affordable housing. In so doing, it is also critically important to consider the safety, security and other needs of women residents and their children.

In addition, the lack of a structured programme to provide financially viable permanent rental solutions for the lowest income households in developed urban areas has meant that often the transitional solutions become permanent housing for many households.

The attempts to deal with the municipal responsibilities as a result of Court judgement has resulted in a number of Metro projects that were poorly developed and managed and have failed to achieve their objectives.

This in turn resulted in further legal challenges to the metros on the quality of the units as well as management of such units. These challenges have often had perverse consequences of making metros reluctant to take action on poor quality and hi-jacked buildings.

Some metros, with commitment to the use of affordable rental housing in urban regeneration, are looking at different approaches to tackle this challenge and meet their legal responsibility by the development of viable and sustainable transitional housing models.  Development of such models will make an important contribution to facilitating urban regeneration with a fair approach to maintain housing access to low and moderate income households. The focus of such approaches is about not only the physical design, but also packaging both capital and operational financing, as well as the best approaches to management of the facility. A common goal is the opening of financially viable permanent solutions, well managed and provision of social supports that allow beneficiaries to “move-on” through a housing ladder.

Equal Spaces in conjunction with its municipal partners, NASHO and other stakeholders is holding a national workshop to bring together key practitioners working on these issues to look at potential practical solutions in precinct based planning of urban regeneration.


  • To clarify the meaning of transitional housing in the context of precinct based urban regeneration.
  • To help define and design pragmatic solutions to the provision of transitional housing linked to social housing development in Cities urban regeneration areas within the existing constraints of national policy, funding and financing supports.
  • To identify practical mechanisms that Metros, partners and stakeholders can structure to support these solutions
  • To identify the organisational ingredients required to make it possible to implement such projects.
  • To define collaborative action and best practices exchanges within and between Metros that can help deliver viable and sustainable transitional housing in urban regeneration areas in the future.
  • To ensure that the provision of transitional housing takes into account the differential needs of women and children.

Below are the presentations from the day:

The Lens Malcolm McCarthy
Cape Town Pogiso Molapo
CoJohannesburg TEAPOT Zanele Malusi
Pickwick CapeTown Jacus Piennar
Pine Road Social Facility DAG
SUMMARY 2 – Day 1 Malcolm McCarthy

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