City repairs programme to prioritise fire damage

The rental stock maintenance and repair programme will start with fire damaged properties first.

A R150 million partnership between the City of Cape Town’s housing department and the National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC) will tackle the maintenance and repairs backlog for council housing.

The City says it has spent R1 billion over the past two years to spruce up and look after its rental units, but there’s still a backlog given the number of units, limited resources and the low levels of rental income collected.

The partnership with the NHFC will see small and medium-sized contractors and suppliers trained through the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) to help with the maintenance and repairs needed at many of the municipality’s more than 57 000 rental units, with priority going to those that have suffered fire damage.

Thirty six contractors have completed their training and are about to start work.

Malusi Booi, mayoral committee member for human settlements, said the project would improve tenants’ living conditions and provide training opportunities.

“I hope that this project is just the start of a lasting legacy of empowerment, skills transfer, new opportunities and better lives for all involved,” he said.

Mr Booi encouraged the City’s tenants to pay their rent because the maintenance of their homes depended on it.

The national Department of Human Settlements established the NHFC as a development finance institution in 1996 to make it easier for low-to-middle income households to get housing finance. Its acting CEO Sizwe Tati said: “As part of this project, the NHFC will deliver affordable rental housing initiatives to all those who have unfortunately been affected by fire.”

The NHFC is responsible for the appointment and management of the database of contractors and suppliers and to provide business and technical support to them.