The Cape Town Community Housing Company (CTCHC) has at last acknowledged what people living in its houses have known all along: that they are not structurally sound, the daily newspaper Cape Argus reports. The admission, made by the low-cost housing development company in mid-August, followed the publication of a report by a masters graduate at the University of Cape Town saying that the houses had been built in breach of building regulations. The study cites a number of problems including damp, cracked walls and incorrect plumbing. Cape Town city council and the National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC) have now pledged 2.6 million rand to carry out repairs.

The university report came in response to protests by residents earlier this year concerning the failure of citys community housing company to transfer ownership of their homes even though they had finished paying their dues. CTCHC was established by the then city government and the national housing finance body in 1999 to build 5,000 quality low-cost housing units across eight sites on the impoverished Cape Flats, where there is a chronic shortage of adequate accommodation. So far it has delivered 2,193 houses. A financial audit of the CTCHC is currently underway.

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