Members of the United Homeless People’s Development Association (UHPDA) have taken up home in a dilapidated building at Crestway High School in Joe Marks Boulevard in Retreat.
About 40 to 50 people have moved furniture to the half demolished building block on the premises of where the school’s old building stood and sleep there in a bid to get the attention of government officials about the dire need for housing.
UHPA founder Howard Soetwater said the housing behind Crestway High School is taking too long to come to fruition and said backyarders are living in the abandoned building meant for demolition because they are growing impatient for much needed housing.
“We are occupying this building, no matter how dangerous, because we need houses. We are fed up with all the promises and talk and we need tractors to come in here and start digging trenches like they are doing at the school. Our people are tired of waiting,” he said.
Human Settlements MEC
Tertuis Simmers called on residents to not allow themselves to be duped by unscrupulous characters spreading false information about this project.
“Instead, potential beneficiaries should engage their project steering committees and ward councillors to acquire the correct information,” he said.
The Greater Retreat Housing Project is a mixed-development project, which includes Breaking New Ground (BNG) or free
houses, Community Residential Units (CRU), rental- and social housing,Open Market and Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) housing. It has a budget of over R1.5 billion.
The project is still in the planning phase, which includes
various investigations and assessments.
It is estimated to only commence in middle 2021 with a goal to be completed by 2024.