Wednesday, November 28, 2007

ABSA and the housing backlog

ABSA committed R2.6bn for an additional 100 000 housing units by 2010 according to an agreement signed by ABSA and the National Housing Finance Corporation (see article).

With 2.3 million people living in informal dwellings country-wide no-one is disputing the magnitude of the challenge. Based on historical performance the state and the cities alone will not be able to close the backlog. The injection of private capital should be welcomed, but there is a caveat. Given current underspending of city budgets' on housing, it seems however that the root problem is not related to finance, but to other factors such as availability of skills and crowding-out of housing developments due to other large-scale infrastructural developments taking place. How does ABSA plan to change that?

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