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Mixed-income housing development strategy: perspective on Cosmo City, Johannesburg, South Africa

journal contribution
posted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by G Okechukwu Onatu
Purpose – High rates of urbanization have concentrated housing needs in urban areas. This has resulted in a largescale housing and service backlog. The rapid growth in housing demand represents a mammoth task for both the present and future housing policy in South Africa. Local government in an effort to address this challenge has placed a high premium on informal settlement formalization and mixedincome housing development. The rationale behind these two approaches is to address urban poverty, segregation and redevelopment. The purpose of this paper is to appraise mixedincome housing development with the objective of integration along racial and social grounds and to denounce the negative perception that the poor and rich cannot live side by side, as well as to provide evidencebased publicprivate partnership (PPP) in development. Design/methodology/approach – The investigation will be based on primary and secondary data with great emphasis on the analysis of the findings of Shift, an NGO, in reviewing the success and challenges of mixedincome housing development. Both published and unpublished literatures were used equally in the study, as well as focus group discussion and interviews with the beneficiaries as well as the principal developers and City of Johannesburg representatives. These findings will be contextualized to Cosmo City in Johannesburg because this happens to be one of the municipalities with a high rate of migration and attendant housing shortage. Findings – Integration of the poor into the urban system is achievable with effective and efficient PPP. This investigation also finds that the mixedincome housing development can lead to an inclusive city and bring about change in the paradigm of criminalization of the poor as being not suitable to live side by side with the rich. Poverty and marginalization can be addressed through carefully planned housing typology. Originality/value – For mixedincome housing development to be successful and sustainable, this paper shows there is a need for interactive participation of the end user or beneficiaries. Integration along social and racial lines can be achieved through appropriate housing typology. There is a need for intersectoral collaboration and partnership between the public and private sectors in addressing informal settlement challenge and urban poverty in developing countries.



International journal of housing markets and analysis






203 - 215




Bingley, Eng.







Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2010, Emerald


R Reed