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Journal Article

Inclusionary housing policy: a tool for re-shaping South Africa's spatial legacy?

Neil Klug, Margot Rubin and Alison Todes
Journal of Housing and the Built Environment
Vol. 28, No. 4, Special Issue Title: More than twenty years after the repeal of the Group Areas Act: Housing, spatial planning and urban development in post-apartheid South Africa (November 2013), pp. 667-678
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42636276
Page Count: 12
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Inclusionary housing policy: a tool for re-shaping South Africa's spatial legacy?
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Abstract

In South Africa, recent initiatives to restructure cities towards greater compaction and integration include the formulation of an inclusionary housing policy, where private property developers are expected to offer some affordable housing in their developments. This paper examines policy and practice in the City of Johannesburg where an inclusionary housing policy is intended to work together with a growth management strategy to direct infrastructural investment. However the policy has hardly been used. The paper examines the policy and its development, initiatives to use it, and the challenges it faces. Key constraints include: resistance by the property development industry and middle/upper-income residents; South Africa's huge income inequalities and hence housing price cliffs; and institutional and legal issues. These concerns have in part underpinned the lack of supportive national policy. In this context, local policies have been confined to specific, deal-driven projects, but these have also been fraught with problems, and have delivered few affordable units. The potential of inclusionary housing policy for reshaping South African cities therefore seems limited, although it could play a small role if national policy with careful attention to implementation were formulated. An alternative form of mixed income developer-led housing seems to have greater potential, although it is focused on low/middle-income housing and relies to a significant extent on government subsidies, in contrast to inclusionary housing proper.

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