Rebuilding Foundations

An exploration of international development work in Africa

The Birth of Madulammoho

Feeling incredibly lazy so pulled the following word-for-word from MHA’s Policy and Procedure Manual.  Didn’t even bother to edit the grammar.

 

In 1999 MES explored residential care based on a transitional housing model. This model allowed people to rent a bed space and to access shared ablution and cooking facilities. The State objected however, saying that this form of housing resembled apartheid-style hostels, and as such, MES struggled to get government support. Instead, social housing was touted as the solution for affordable rental housing.

Although set up to create affordable rental accommodation, the social housing delivered through Social Housing Institutions (SHIs) was still providing a rental model beyond the reach of MES’s clients. Because SHIs were buying and refurbishing buildings using loan finance and institutional subsidies, rents were determined on an economic cost recovery basis. As a result, these rentals did not match the affordability of the very poor.

MES focused on turning the traditional social housing financing model around by attempting to design one based on what people could afford. Affordability was therefore the starting point. Once housing development costs were calculated against the monthly amount that MES clients could pay, it was found that the poor in the inner city could only afford transitional and communal housing models.

In 2004 the Department of Social Services finally agreed to support MES in their residential care model, provided that MES agreed to teach others to replicate the model.

Although MES fully supported the need, getting into housing would be a major shift in business. So in 2004, a separate organisation, Madulammoho Housing Association was set up to focus on the housing component of the social development model pioneered by MES. Madulammoho would focus only on the housing aspects of the development tasks that MES defined and as such, could dedicate its efforts towards fundraising for and developing affordable housing models. However MES and Madulammoho would continue to work together, hand in hand, like “brother and sister”.

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