Housing subsidy programmes in South Africa have typically prioritised volumes and products, through project-based top structure delivery programmes, while state assistance to households who wish to build themselves has been left to the Enhanced People’s Housing Process (EPHP) programme, which is associated with extended project delays and complex, labour-intensive community engagement and facilitation. Partly due to fiscal constraints, national housing sector policy focus and resources are now shifting away from fully-subsidised housing delivery programmes, towards the provision of serviced sites and rapid land release programmes. However, the provision of serviced sites to low income households without financial and/or non-financial assistance for building does not meet the State’s constitutional obligations to provide access to adequate housing, nor does it effectively facilitate the creation of an appreciating capital asset for the household.
In the context of the recent shift in national policy emphasis away from top structure delivery and toward the provision of serviced sites, this paper explores the feasibility of self-build subsidies for these low-income households, from policy, financial and institutional perspectives, drawing upon research, detailed analysis of housing policy and key informant interviews. The paper was developed in partnership with Isandla Institute as part of the Backyard Matters project.
The full paper and presentation can be downloaded below.
Self build subsidy presentation Self build subsidy report