Fears allayed over new uMhlanga development
CONCERNS were voiced following the announcement of a ‘low cost housing development’ in uMhlanga, however, developers clarified it was ‘gap or affordable’ housing done by private developers.
18 May 2012 | Lauren Anthony
The site for The Mews is on uMhlanga Ridge on Meridian Drive, is an area zoned high density residential.
Christopher Horn and Thomas Hancock of Avoca Developments, the constructors hired by International Housing Solutions, the private equity funder of the development, explained The Mews was for people wanting to live in uMhlanga who couldn’t afford the high-end properties.
“There will be 477 units priced between R400 000 and R800 000
, 20 per cent below the current market prices,” explained Hancock.
“Construction will begin in June this year with three separate phases being completed in about two years,” he explained.
The units would range in size from 37 square metres for a studio apartment to 55 square metres for a two bedroom.
Hancock explained, as per eThekwini Municipality’s stipulations, 15 per cent of the units, integrated with the apartments, would be Progressive Lifestyle Units or ‘inclusionary homes’ which must have a selling price of R500 000 or less.
“There are specific criteria for the buyer and the title deed restriction will apply for 10 years on the selling price,” he said.
Joel Rosen, deal originator for IHS, said this was the first of its kind for the area.
“There hasn’t been a substantial amount of development of the affordable space in Durban like we’ve seen in Gauteng and the Western Cape in the last 12 months,” said Rosen. “It will form part of the Gateway precinct, giving an opportunity to those who would previously not have been able to afford property in the area.”
He explained ‘gap housing’ services a section of the market which doesn’t qualify for RDP homes but also doesn’t earn enough to qualify for a bond.”
Ward councillor, Heinz de Boer, has shown support for the development
"After consultation with the developers I can only support the venture. There is a dire need for affordable housing, not just in the region but in KZN. There is hardly any middle ground for small families, single people or first time home-owners. They either have to settle for really cheap, and mostly nasty, low cost homes or try and find the cash for the an average priced suburban home that usually starts at R1-million,” said De Boer.
“I would also like to allay any fears. The typical low cost homes we are all familiar with will not be built in uMhlanga. The architectural style will be in keeping with the surrounding region, and I believe this development will be a significant boost to the local economy.
"The development not only complies with town planning regulations, but has been approved by Tongaat Hulett Developments who sold the land to the developers.”