The Fairview Link housing project initiated by the General Motors South Africa (GMSA) Foundation recently scooped the coveted Govan Mbeki award when it was named best Social Housing Project in South Africa.
The prestigious Govan Mbeki award recognises best practice in delivering innovative solutions to social problems in areas of affordable rental housing.
Situated in Fairview, Port Elizabeth, the project is the second housing development that was spearheaded by the foundation to win this award. In 2013 the nearby Walmer Link project received the prize.
The Fairview Link project was conceptualised by the GMSA Foundation, which also provided seed funding to the developer, The Home Market, to commence construction.
The Home Market is a property developer that focusses on the full spectrum of the government-subsidised housing market by securing grants and subsidies for construction and by assisting prospective renters and buyers to secure subsidies and home loans.
On completion of construction by the Home Market, the project was transferred to Imizi Housing, an accredited social housing agency responsible for ongoing tenant and property management.
According to Roger Matlock GMSA Foundation general manager, the Fairview Link and the Walmer Link projects have been designed specifically to be replicated in other areas in the country. “It is an ideal housing solution that provides affordable high quality rental accommodation for South Africans whose household incomes range between R2 500 and R7 500 per month.”
Matlock said the success of Fairview Link not only lies in the affordability and high quality of the apartments, but also in the integration of a diverse group of people from all walks of life. In addition the housing block is conveniently located.
“Its central location on public transport routes and its proximity to shops, schools and other amenities mean that Fairview Link has also contributed to urban restructuring and to the spatial, economic and social integration of our city,” said Matlock.
Anthony Lloyd of Imizi housing attributed the success of the project to the professional partnership that exists between Imizi Housing, The Home Market and its funding stakeholder, the GMSA Foundation.
Lloyd further praised the relationship that has been developed with stakeholders of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the Provincial Department of Human Settlements and the National Department of Human Settlements through the Social Housing Regulatory Authority.
Fairview Link is the latest of a long list of successful, award-winning housing projects that have been developed over the years as initiatives of the GMSA Foundation.
The projects all represent new models aimed at addressing the housing crisis in South Africa by optimising the use of government subsidies to produce affordable and sustainable housing and functioning communities.
The construction of a third social housing project, the 400 rental unit Willowdene development in Fairview, is well underway. A number of other exciting projects are in the pipeline for development by the GMSA Foundation, The Home Market and Imizi Housing partnership.