The People’s Housing Process (PHP) is one of Government’s subsidised housing programmes where beneficiaries are encouraged to be actively involved in the decision-making over the housing delivery process, its product and to make a contribution to the process. PHP has been implemented by Government as one of the Human Settlement’s delivery programmes since 1998. However, in 2008 the enhanced People’s Housing Process (ePHP) programme was introduced with an objective to broaden the scope of PHP to focus on the outcomes of the housing process as a whole rather than just on the delivery of a housing product. The programme provides dedicated support and funding for harnessing community initiatives, community empowerment and building community partnerships.
The ePHP programme proposes to build on the strengths of the communities and the value adds they bring into the programme. It requires compulsory contributions/commitment from the community involved; such as participation, taking up leadership responsibilities and ownership of the project as a pre-requisite for project approval. The programme is aimed at delivering better Human Settlement outcomes based on community contribution, partnerships and the leveraging of additional resources through partnerships, and individual and collective empowerment to ensure community control of the housing process themselves. To this end, the ePHP provides dedicated support and funding for harnessing community initiatives, community empowerment and building of community partnerships.
Guidelines for implementation were developed, but have as yet not been adopted or utilised and the policy has not been implemented as per its original intent. This is problematic as the lack of clear implementation guidelines allow for an on-going tendency to favour contractor-driven approaches (especially in large-scale projects), which are often not sufficiently aligned with the purposes of the ePHP.
Habitat SA aims to advocate for the effective roll-out of clear implementation guidelines which give clear guidance on policy provisions, institutional arrangements, funding mechanisms and project process flows with the objective of improving the alignment between the ePHP policy and its practice. Habitat SA aims to achieve impact at scale and build on the success of direct engagement with low-income families and communities which are affected by the ePHP. Habitat SA aims to fill the gap between government and communities in order to ensure that efforts on the ground will reflect the intent of the ePHP policy. Recognising that progressive and inclusive government policies are essential to increase access to safe, decent and affordable housing, it is crucial that Habitat SA promotes policies and systems that eliminate barriers that contribute to poverty and inadequate housing.