A Comparative Study of Social Housing Developments: Greenfield Developments and Converted/Refurbished Buildings.
Ogunsanya, Lawrence Babatunde.
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Social Housing is a new form of housing delivery in South Africa that has fast gained recognition in the housing sector in the last ten years, because it has proven to be a viable option in solving the housing shortage. It is an affordable option because the government provides funding through subsidies and profit is not earned from the rents paid. Social housing can be in the form of houses, block of flats or townhouses located in Greenfield developments, infill areas or in inner city blocks that are purchased or renovated. The buildings are managed by social housing institutions through public and private funding. This dissertation evaluated and compared two types of social housing schemes, namely, Greenfield developments and refurbished/converted buildings in terms of their affordability, management and the quality of the built environment. The evaluation was done by analyzing their similarities and differences, to reveal which typology delivers a better quality living environment. It also investigated the type of social housing development most suitable for the South African environment and meets the objectives and principles of social housing. The study analysed four existing social housing developments, three in Durban and one in Pietermaritzburg, two were refurbished buildings, and the other two, Greenfield developments. Information was collected by conducting household surveys, interviews and discussions with the residents and management of the housing schemes. The case studies revealed interesting contrasts as well as some important similarities among the social housing schemes. The main findings showed both typologies were functional in providing affordable housing though Greenfield developments proved to be a better alternative in terms of effective management, tenant participation and better built environments. The study proposes recommendations to improve social housing delivery in South Africa such as making social housing affordable, strategies for affordable security and safety systems; energy efficient designs and considerations for persons with special needs.