Persons with disabilities a priority for Western Cape Human Settlements
Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers said at the commencement of the annual National Disability Rights Awareness Month, which is between 3 November and 3 December, that the delivery of housing opportunities to the most vulnerable, deserving and particularly for persons living with disabilities, is a priority for his Department.
Between 1 April 2019 and 28 October 2020, 54 persons living with a medically certified disability have been approved on the Housing Subsidy System (HSS). These beneficiaries are from various areas across the Province, including the West Coast, Overberg, Cape Winelands and Garden Route Districts, as well as the Cape Metro.
Minister Simmers said: “Persons who are living with a medically certified disability should know that they are part of our criteria when it comes to creating housing opportunities in the Western Cape. In fact, in all of our projects we’ve included a 5% allocation for persons who are living with a medically certified disability, so that they are also afforded the opportunity to improve their lives significantly.
It is critical to note that to qualify for a Breaking New Ground (BNG)/free fully state subsidised house, you have to be registered on the Housing Demand Database (HDD), with all the relevant documentation.
We are fully aware that disabilities differ and for this reason each case is treated with sensitivity, care, respect and professionalism, so that the dignity of those we are assisting is assured. In addition to this, the approved persons or their siblings whom are full time wheelchair bound will be provided with a 45m² house in lieu of the standard 40m² house so as to facilitate their circumstances.
To further demonstrate our commitment to persons living with disabilities, we will in due course engage all relevant stakeholders, including sister Departments, such as Social Development (DSD), Health and the Premier’s office, along with representative groups, so that a common understanding of the human settlement challenges can be found, while solutions be crafted to address these challenges. We will also use this engagement to showcase the work we’ve been doing to ensure that these vulnerable groups are mainstreamed.
As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society.”