Houses for everyone

first_imgHousing is at the forefront of the national agenda for delivery and the government is taking overall responsibility for providing houses to all. (Image: Department of Human Settlements)The government inherited a critical housing shortage, with the 1996 Census reflecting a housing backlog of 2 202 519. Since coming to power in 1994, the state has built 1,4 million housing units, providing more than 5 million people with secure homes. For indicators on the progress of housing delivery since 1994, click here.Home ownershipThe government’s goal is to create sustainable housing developments whereby people own their properties. This engenders a sense of pride in their homes, streets and areas and advances the entire community. At least 2 million people have benefited from the transfer of ownership of 398 000 houses to their residents since the government came to power. In the past 8 years, the percentage of home-owners has risen from 66 to 77 percent of all household dwellers, despite the fact that the number of households has also increased by 1,5-million since then.Housing subsidiesThe National Housing Subsidy Programme aims to stimulate both rural and urban development. Since 1994, 1 323 205 housing subsidies were allocated, 36 percent of these to women-headed households. National housing policy specifies that all housing subsidies offered be met with a contribution from the recipient – either in the form of funds or labour – to encourage a culture of responsibility and saving for housing. The Housing Subsidy Scheme gives six different funding options for those who are eligible and who earn R3 500 or less per month.Finance for the poorFor housing developments to be sustainable, contributions are required from all sectors of society – government, communities, NGOs, the private sector and individuals. Access to finance remains the biggest obstacle to housing delivery. Since 1994 the government has attempted to work out solutions with banks on issues like red-lining, bad debts and subsidy-linked bonds. Servcon was established as a public-private partnership to tackle the problem of bond defaulting and has so far cleared 15 000 bad loans worth R612-million. The National Housing Finance Corporation was also set up (in 1996) to give banks access to capital for subsidy-linked and lower income housing. So far the NHFC has given out R1,5-billion to finance institutions for housing.Job creation and skills developmentThe government’s low cost housing programme creates jobs by promoting labour-intensive methods, employing local labour and small-time contractors. It also supports those who prefer to build their own homes and provides technical, financial and other support to them.Human settlementAround 53,6 percent of the population live in urban areas. The Human Settlement Redevelopment Programme, initiated in 1999, aims to improve the quality of the urban environment and address the imbalances and backlogs inherited from the apartheid government. This involves yearly roll-on housing development plans spanning all three tiers of government. So far the government has spent more than R40-million in 15 areas in all 9 provinces in human settlement programmes.Source: Department of Human SettlementsWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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CNN Backs Outside.in to Power News From Your Neighborhood

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… marshall kirkpatrick 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Related Posts Tags:#news#web Outside.in is a hyper-local news aggregator and when they say hyper-local they mean it – the site captures news, blog posts and other resources right down to the neighborhood level. The company announced tonight that it’s raised a nice round of funding, $7 million from CNN, the super-hip VC at Union Square Ventures, real-time savvy VC shop Betaworks and several other organizations. Both of the aforementioned are existing investors re-investing. Tonight the Outside.in site told me about a new real-estate valuation report for the neighborhood I just bought a house in, a city permit request by a local college planing to subdivide a big residential lot on the beautiful old street I walk my dogs on and some cool jobs in the neighborhood. What more could I ask for? Long term viability and an expanded staff for a service like this? That sounds great. Outside.in says that its headlines will soon be run on CNN’s website, much like MSNBC has said it will run hyper-local news from the related site it acquired this year, EveryBlock. EveryBlock tends to discover a lot more information than Outside.in does. Its public records discovery is especially good. It’s a lot of fun to read health department inspection reports from neighborhood restaurants (in a perverse sort of way) and that’s not something Outside.in unearths.EveryBlock has to date been limited to a handful of big cities around the US, though. Outside.in has no such limitation. Things not to love about Outside.in include a garish new advertising-filled page layout (just subscribe by RSS feed) and a heart-breaking iPhone app. That app discovers your location and brings up area news – lots of fun to use when house-hunting in different neighborhoods. Not so much fun when it fails to work, which is more often than not in my experience. If you want a good local news iPhone app, check out Fwix. I’m eagerly awaiting the launch of Nozzl Media, a related service we profiled in our report The Real-Time Web and Its Future.These kinds of data parsing services, tied to real-life experiences like geographic location, are becoming an important value add now that more and more data is coming online. Everyone wants to discover the future of news – these kinds of services could well be an important part of it.Note: Outside In is also the name of a 40 year old youth social services agency that also deserves respect, speaking of local.last_img read more

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SIT quizzes Chinmayanand for seven hours, searches home

first_imgThe Special Investigation Team probing a student’s rape allegation against BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand questioned him for seven hours and sealed the bedroom at his home here, sources said on Friday. The SIT, formed on the orders of the Supreme Court, also brought the college student to the former Union Minister’s home on Friday morning, continuing the search for evidence in her presence. Mr. Chinmayanand, whose organisation runs several colleges, was questioned for about seven hours at the police lines here on Thursday night. SIT members and a forensic team also spent six hours at his Divya Dham residence, where the bedroom was later sealed. Sources said the BJP leader has been asked by SIT not to leave Shahjahanpur till the completion of the probe, and policemen have been deployed in and around his home. College closedThe college where the woman studied was closed on Friday, with the administration announcing a holiday and pasting a notice on the gates. The post-graduate student has alleged that she was raped and “physically exploited” for a year by the BJP leader. Mr. Chinmayanand’s lawyer has, however, alleged an extortion attempt. The woman first levelled harassment charges against the BJP leader in a video clip uploaded on social media. She was then missing for several days before a Uttar Pradesh police team traced her in Rajasthan and produced her before the Supreme Court. The woman’s classmate, who was with her when the police found her, on Friday said she had told him and others about the harassment. According to him, Mr. Chinmayanand told her to move into a hostel room after she got a college job as she would get late in reaching home.“She said a video was made of her having a bath, after which she was blackmailed and her physical exploitation started,” the classmate told reporters. ‘Evidence removed’The student’s father has alleged that Mr. Chinmayanand’s supporters have removed from her room a pair of spectacles with a camera fitted in them, suggesting that this contained evidence against the BJP leader. In a letter to SIT on Wednesday, the woman also alleged that some vital evidence was removed from the hostel room before it was sealed by the police.last_img read more

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