Monday, March 20, 2006

Housing in defence of whose interests?

In respect of the slow pace of delivery of affordable housing for lower-income groups, the Banking Association has reported that, largely as a result of insufficient stands for new houses, delivery of new houses in this sector fell 28% last year. Indeed, the Absa report identifies the main cause of house-price inflation last year as higher land prices caused by a scarcity of suitable and fully serviced land. Certainly, for affordable housing, the real problem is public service delivery, not foreign buyers.

The interim report claims to dispel the myth that government is hoarding land suitable for redistribution, but the proof of this is still outstanding. The land listed in the report does not include the considerable areas owned by parastatals and, apart from this, some observers claim that not all other government-controlled land is registered as such and, therefore, is not included in the summary. Business Day

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