SAPOA Disturbed by City of Joburg’s adoption of the Inclusionary Housing Policy without extensive consultation

Following a second round of comment by the City of Johannesburg, SAPOA is disturbed to read reports in the media about the Inclusionary Housing: Incentives, Regulations and Mechanisms Framework being passed that stipulates a 30% of new residential developments to be available for affordable housing. According to Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba, this move is an important one in addressing the spatial inequality associated with apartheid-era development planning.

SAPOA provided substantial comment to the Office of The Speaker on the draft policy two days ago but these appear to have been disregard.

Although Mayor Mashaba is quoted as saying that the adoption of the framework follows an extensive public consultation process, concerns of property developers around the mandatory inclusionary housing requirements were also not considered.

In the letter, the potential social challenges remain unaddressed, including the possibility of isolating low-income households and the existence of negative preconceptions regarding the nature of inclusionary housing, possibly hampering its implementation. In addition, important private sector comments on the implementation of the policy were not considered in the revised policy and there remains possible negative aspects primarily with reference to financial feasibility concerns of the property development sector.

Says SAPOA Chief Executive Officer Neil Gopal, “The commercial property industry is not likely to focus on housing developments in the City of Joburg as this is a very onerous policy that was not as extensively distributed for comment as the City eludes to.

With inclusionary requirements inflexible to the underlying economic conditions and strength of the property market, the revised Inclusionary Housing Policy is likely to have a detrimental effect on market-related housing provision in the City of Johannesburg.

The Policy is not well thought out and we would encourage our members and developers at large to carefully consider their strategies in this market”.