Access to housing is a significant necessity for everybody. Any human being should never be deprived of this fundamental right. Owing to the high demand for houses along with the increasing birth rate, housing in South Africa is facing severe challenges. They fail to provide adequate accommodation to their residents. Many low- and middle-income families are compelled to live in informal settlements with miserable living conditions.
The government needs to address this scarcity very keenly. However, the housing scheme for the poor is formulated with the RDP housing policy. According to this, subsidized residential units are available for those who qualify for the subsidy.
Up to date, we reported that around 12 million people are in need of homes. This is an alarming number, of course.
Continue reading to know more about the challenges faced by housing in South Africa and solutions to overcome these issues.
Significant Issues with the Housing in South Africa
What are the primary reasons for the housing backlog in South Africa? Apart from the population, there are some other factors that you need to look upon:
Immersive demand for housing
As I already mentioned, it is getting difficult for a government to provide a fundamental right of housing to every citizen with the increasing population, which causes a backlog in housing growth.
On top of it, rural life doesn’t offer many opportunities to people, which forces them to settle in urban areas. This urbanization is one of the causes of maintaining housing inequality among people.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many people lost their jobs. Due to this, people are bound to live below the average line—the cost of living increases, which encourages social stratification and the class gap between the citizens.
Just like food, which is necessary for human development, the roof is mandatory for mental health. Substantial shelter promotes psychological and physical wellness. A high standard of living with the sluggish post and stagnant salaries are not affecting sustenance only but the place where they live.
Owning a house in South Africa is a significant challenge for low to middle-income earners. The relationship between income and house prices is referred to as affordability—people who generate massive income only throughout the year-end up in large luxurious houses. It’s impossible for low-income people to afford this type of accommodation.
Not having enough access to the housing finances
One of the major issues of not having access to furnished houses is not having enough resources for the finances. Lack of access to credit compels families to live with inadequate resources.
Adaptable Solutions for Future
If we don’t look upon these challenges today, they will become more severe in the future. Following steps should be taken to resolve problems regarding housing in South Africa.
Reduction of rules for small scale projects
A flawed decision-making process and plenty of rules and regulations in the various sectors have extended the project completion timeline. Projects that could be covered within the few months completed in the two years – loss of money and time indeed.
Projects at a smaller scale should be bounded with time limitations and barriers because they can propel significant change through solutions.
Upgrading informal settlements
New housing models require area and investment. Instead of establishing new homes directly, the government should upgrade informal settlements with the collaboration of 3rd party.
It’s an excellent way to empower local communities who are living in unhealthy conditions. This initiation will prove undoubtedly best for the government and as well as for residents.
Feedback from the community
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While launching a new project or upgrading the existing areas, the involvement of the community is necessary. Collecting feedback for housing in South Africa will help to shape future decisions effectively.