Report on Housing Demand and Allocation in South Africa now available

‘Jumping the Queue’, Waiting Lists and other Myths: Perceptions and Practice around Housing Demand and Allocation in South Africa report has been released.

Community Law Centre (CLC), and the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), have published a new research report entitled Jumping the Queue, Waiting Lists and other Myths: Perceptions and Practice around Housing Demand and Allocation in South Africa.

This research report analyses perceptions and practice around housing demand and allocation in South Africa, looking at the policies and processes operating at national, provincial and local level. Despite the South African government’s construction of state-subsidised houses since 1994, there remains a housing crisis in the country, which has political, technical, social and racial dimensions. Community protests, xenophobic violence, ‘illegal’ occupation of state-subsidised houses, court cases and corruption charges mar the housing delivery landscape.

Politicians and officials responsible for housing policy, at all levels of the state, have sought to create the impression that housing allocation is a rational process, which prioritises those in the greatest need, and those who have been waiting for a subsidised house the longest. The ideologically (and emotionally) charged concepts of ‘the waiting list’ and ‘the housing queue’ are emblematic of this. However, the situation is far more complicated.

This report attempts to unpack some of the complexity and provide recommendations to government departments at all levels. It argues that the housing waiting list is a myth and should be eradicated from public discourse on housing in favour of a more nuanced way of characterising the rational, appropriate and humane responses to the broad range of housing needs in South Africa, which are not currently catered for by the market.

Download the full report here.

Download the executive summary here.


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