The key issues that SAARDA deals with revolve around 4 matters: the housing demand they are serving, the product they deliver, the environment they operate in and the make-up of their members.
THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEMAND
This sector has an unique end-user market profile. The market is extremely price sensitive: affordability is of the essence. The Affordable Housing market faces unique socio-economic challenges. Affordable Housing serves an emerging class of mostly first time home owners who are not well educated on issues of house ownership.
SAARDA members work within very tight and price sensitive parameters. Members work within a market that has unique characteristics. Members have to deliver to a market that requires education on various aspects of house ownership.
Dealing with perceptions around the market. Negative perceptions regarding the credit worthiness of the lower income band needing Affordable Housing abound.
SAARDA members serve an income band that finds it difficult to access finance
Strategic nature of the affordable housing market. This market is a “gap” market where 2-3 million households fall between the cracks in terms of housing delivery. It is thus of special interest to government as well as the housing sector.
SAARDA members are serving an important public interest in delivering within this market’s “redlined areas” and in what is considered an elevated risk segment.
THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING PRODUCT
Problems of a lack of scales delivery. Affordable Housing is not being produced in sufficient quantities.
SAARDA members need a unified front with which to address the unique problems they face
Problems of lack of innovation. While the Affordable Housing market presents unique challenges to players in the housing market, there is little innovation in terms of ways of delivering the products.
SAARDA members wish to draw on their collective efforts in promoting innovation in scaling up the delivery of Affordable Housing.
THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING ENVIRONMENT
Limited policy intervention and successes from government. The Affordable Housing market has experienced general policy neglect and limited intervention.
SAARDA members are delivering an important housing product that has had little historical policy support or successful policy intervention. SAARDA hopes to elevate the profile of this sector and its particular needs among government and financiers.
Affordable Housing is a traditionally neglected area of delivery among role players in terms of housing delivery.
SAARDA members are often tasked with creating awareness and playing a facilitation role in informing and bringing together actors in the Affordable Housing sector
Unfriendly land development laws. Statutory land development processes such as township establishment, and environmental consents are time consuming, bureaucratic, duplicitous and costly.
SAARDA members are confronted by statutory land development processes that significantly hamper their ability to profitably deliver Affordable Housing.
Scarce and expensive land. Proactive and well planned government land release for Affordable Housing is limited.
SAARDA members are faced with having to compete with higher end developers for land
Different spheres of government are struggling with capacity issues. Serious shortage of infrastructure capacity in local governments. Slow processing of land development applications at local government as well as provincial levels. Slow processing of building plans at local government.
SAARDA members’ operations are hampered by capacity constraints at various government levels
High and ever escalating building costs. Unjustified and rapidly escalating building costs have an especially detrimental effect on the delivery of Affordable Housing.
SAARDA members are faced by an inability to usefully negotiate with building suppliers on the costs of building supply inputs and bargaining power
Little data and information is available on the Affordable Housing sector and market. Little is understood of the Affordable Housing market. There is growth, but nevertheless limited information and data on this segment of the market. The market players do not share data relevant to the Affordable Housing sector, e.g. banks on their “hit rates”, government on tender provision criteria, etc.
SAARDA members find themselves hampered in their ability to delivery because of their size, something they can ill afford when dealing with other players. Many SAARDA members require unique support not necessary for more established players.