The Sazhezethu Ngomanyano Assisted Self-Help Housing Project (SNHA) provides an example of a sustainable approach to housing provision for low-income households in South Africa. It began in 1997 and serves approximately 550 people on serviced sites in three neighbourhood units. 145 houses have been completed so far and a further 250 are planned. The Cooperative Housing Foundation helped SNHA draw up a detailed workplan and training courses and capacity building programmes were provided. It also provided bridging finance so that people could afford to access the government housing subsidies. The beneficiaries provide sweat equity (between 4-6 per cent of the total cost of house and land). CHF provides technical support at little or no cost. Small loans are made available for those who wish to enlarge or improve their homes. An innovative housing design was used that has a timber frame which supports reinforced mortar concrete walls and a corrugated iron roof. This is very easily and quickly constructed and can be done by semi-skilled people. It has wide-scale replicability both in South Africa and beyond.


NGO, local community