BESG’s work in the ten years following the new dispensation was dominated by low-income housing project development. Many communities who were involved in the defence campaigns of the 1980s saw the national housing subsidy scheme as a means of leveraging development and access to secure tenure. We provided, and continue to provide,.capacity building and project management services, either directly to those communities, or to local government in order to maximise community participation in the development of their areas.
This led to a range of spin-off projects, designed to sustain the impetus and impact of pro-poor development interventions, including:
- Support and training to enable community based organisations (CBOs) to use set-aside land for food security projects.
- Design and development of community halls and other facilities.
- Establishment of housing stokvels, to enable poor households to save and support each other in extending their government starter house.
- Community based infrastructure maintenance and environmental management.
- Poverty reduction and support to strengthen orphaned children and vulnerable households – training in tenure and asset security, nutrition, water management and conservation, environmental protection, health and safety in the home, and housing consumer education.
Other habitat related work
We are also involved in promoting access to resources for development through demonstration projects, disseminating good practice, advocacy-based research, and community participation events, including:
- The promotion of access to well-located land for poor communities.
- The development of space for genuine community-driven housing delivery.
- The provision of special needs housing for vulnerable groups, including the development of alternatives to institutional care for orphaned children.
BESG is a member of the National Enhanced People’s Housing Process (e-PHP) Reference Group, and the National Special Needs Housing Forum. It uses models of good practice to advocate for user-friendly enabling policy, and provides support to CBOs and Non-Profit Organisations who wish to engage in those housing programmes.
BESG is associated with the following:
Social Housing Foundation (www.shf.org.za)
Good Governance Learning Network (www.ggln.org.za)
HIV/AIDS Local Government Learning Network (www.halogen.org.za)
Landfirst Network (www.landfirst.org.za)
Children in Distress Network (www.cindi.org.za)