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Turning dilapidated buildings into housing for Durban’s poor


Durban faces a housing shortage with roots in Apartheid. To help the city create affordable housing, a nonprofit converts offices into apartments for low-income tenants, Greg Arde reports in Next City.

Social Housing Company, or Sohco, buys rundown buildings and transforms them into housing for families of two to five people. The organization owns 629 housing units in Durban and another 2008 elsewhere in South Africa that shelter about 10,000 people. While modest by western standards, the low-cost apartments offer much better living conditions than the informal squatter settlements that ring Durban.

The article explains that Apartheid-era planning forced many black citizens to live in dorms far from city centers. Sohco is trying to compensate for such policies with one-bedroom apartments that cost between $50 to $300 U. S. to rent each month.


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