Cape Town executive mayor Patricia de Lille on Tuesday handed over 30 houses in Heideveld as part of a R105 million Heideveld housing development project. The project consists of 738 housing opportunities for people living in overcrowded conditions. Mr Solomons of WestBank applied for a housing subsidy 38 years ago at the Communicare offices in Bishop Lavis and today at 71 years old he became a home owner for the very first time.
“I am so happy, I have been waiting for years for this to happen, I would like to thank the Mayor and the city for giving this to me,” said Mr Solomons.
De Lille says that this housing project has a very sad history.
“It started in 2009, but we couldn’t get the community to agree on the beneficiaries and the type of houses, they were completely split. We have worked for two years to convince them it is in the best interest of the community; we were then able to start the building and to keep that unity I said instead of waiting for the project to be concluded, let me go and give the first 30 houses over,” explained the Mayor.
“Many of you have struggled really long and hard to get here to this moment today. It’s not just a new house. It’s a new chapter, with new memories to make. It’s a whole new community. You will need to work together in order to make this community everything that you have waited so long for and dreamed about.”
Moegsin George was another recipient of a new house that he had waited over 40 years for.
“I am sad that my wife is not here to share this with me, but at least I can look after my children in my own home,” says Mr George who couldn’t help, but cry when the Mayor handed over a new set of keys to him.
De Lille said they carefully spent the R118 000 allocated as the subsidy per house.
“One such aspect is the insulation, which has been installed above the ceiling to ensure that each house is cooler in summer and warmer in winter. This reduces the use of warmers/heaters and air-conditioning or fans. It is saving on electricity and money spent on an expense which is new for new homeowners. As a green initiative, it also reduces the collective carbon footprint,” she explained.
“This development is also the handiwork of the community, since the contractor employed some local labour from the jobseeker database.”
Over the next year more families will be receiving their homes in the Heideveld area and the Mayor said that this project will bring together communities from Heideveld, Bonteheuwel as well as Gugulethu.
“People from often overcrowded conditions in Heideveld, Vanguard Estate, Welcome Estate, Bonteheuwel and Gugulethu are going to come together and have a place to call home here between today and June 2017 when the project is complete,” Mayor de Lille went further.
“Given the chance, we will continue to make every effort to ensure that more housing opportunities are made available.” VOC