Department of Human Settlements to assist with student accommodation challenges
Port Elizabeth: The Minister of Human Settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu, MP, has told delegates at the Inaugural Human Settlements Conference that her Department, working together with the Department of Higher Education and Training will develop a model to assist in increasing student accommodation around universities.
The Minister added that she would be meeting with Developers and Private investors and owners of buildings in the inner cities to work out a plan and model. "As Government we believe that some of the rundown buildings in our inner cities can be used for accommodating students, we believe this can be a chance for young developers to enter the property market. We are working on this as an urgent project, l have asked the Director General to work with the Director General of Higher Education and Training on how we can do this".
Addressing the conference the Minister confirmed that all submissions made on Catalytic Projects have been reviewed and independent assessment of projects is almost done and an announcement will be made before the end of the year after submitting the report to Cabinet.
Minister also challenged the University of Nelson Mandela to conduct urgent research on change of ownership in the Government subsidised housing sector. "I am very concern that initial results of our desk top research suggest that many of our beneficiaries are selling their houses, some illegally and legally, our legislation is clear, you need to live in the house for more than 8 years", she added.
The conference is reviewing policy launched in 2004 towards the finalization of the National White Paper on Human Settlements. It is attended by political leaders, academic, practitioners, NGOs and senior government officials
The Minister also indicated that the National Department assisted by the Housing Development Agency (HAD) and the National Home Builders Regulatory Council (NHBRC) will continue to support all municipalities. "Our priority is ensuring that the grant transferred to Metros and Municipalities is used and accounted for, we also prioritise ensuring that all of them have skills and capacity", she added.
The two - day conference currently underway in Port Elizabeth is organized by the Nelson Mandela Metro University and the National Department of Human Settlements, the Nelson Mandela Metro, and all institutions.
Ndivhuwo Mabaya, Head of Communications