Paper presented at the XXXIII IAHS World Congress on Housing, 27-30 September 2005,"Transforming Housing Environments through Design", University of Pretoria.
This paper presents a review of an evaluation of a Peoples’ Housing Process in Vosloorus, which resulted in the construction of 250 homes for low income beneficiaries between January 2003 and September 2003. It is critical to learn from a PHP project such as the Vosloorus PHP, since there have been few examples of successful PHPs in the country. The Vosloorus case demonstrates that a PHP can truly be participatory and still deliver a quality product at a reasonable pace. The Peoples’ Housing Process (PHP) is a form of housing delivery in South Africa that depends heavily on community initiative and beneficiary involvement in the delivery process, and local job creation and skills development is maximised. Planact, a non-profit development organisation, was involved in supporting a PHP process to upgrade an existing informal settlement in Vosloorus, within the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, east of Johannesburg. Planact conducted an evaluation of Phase I of the project soon after its completion in September 2003.
The houses produced were 36-square metre brick homes on already-serviced sites. To build the top structures, local labourers, including beneficiaries, formed teams who worked under the supervision of 10 emerging contractors from the community. Another important characteristic of the process was the promotion of women in the construction process — 30% of the labourers were required to be women, and three of the ten contractors were also women. The evaluation included a survey of 50 randomly-selected beneficiaries of the housing, as well as surveys with labourers, contractors, Steering Committee members and other stakeholders. The paper presents the outcome of the evaluation, focusing on the following issues : community and women’s participation, satisfaction with housing constructed and benefits of the project, potential for other options/choices in housing design, and performance of the Steering Committee and Housing Support Centre.
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