Housing: Enforcement, Tenure and Rent

Housing Report

After Implementation

The following sections are efforts by non-specialists to try and begin interpreting and highlighting key themes. The team recognizes that Monwabisi Park stakeholders will need to further address these issues if an improved housing program is to be developed here. Since the following sections were compiled by non-specialists, pages should be read critically and there maybe errors in interpretation.


It is important that the people who have decided to give up their shacks and who have decided to live in an ecoBEAM house follow certain rules and have certain rights. A possible way that all of these rules can be enforced is with a Householder’s Agreement document. In a proposed draft of the Householder’s Agreement Document that was created by Dinny Laurence, householders would sign when surrendering their shack and have built their new house. In this agreement, the residents would have to adhere to all the rules contained in it.

All of the details of the agreement are still in the idea stage and are subject to change. In the householder’s agreement, it states that upon completion of the building of the new home, the householder would surrender the registration tag of the shack to the City and the City would then issue a new registration tag to the householder for the new house. This will give the householder the right to reside in the house on the terms set out in the agreement. When the householder signs the agreement, which is a legal document, s/he can then be held accountable for the rules of the constitution. One rule that can be found in this constitution states that if a person becomes a householder and signs the agreement, that person becomes a member of the Home Owner’s Association. This ensures that the people stay involved in the development of their community. Naturally, if a person is no longer a householder, s/he is also no longer a member of the association. If the situation were to occur where the householder dies, the rights to occupy the house would then be passed on to the spouse or the eldest child. If there is no one to pass the ownership to then the Street Committee would decide who is to occupy the house. The Street Committee must advise the changes in ownership of the house based on the terms written in the agreement. With this change, the City would then correct the registration of the house accordingly. If at any time the householder and his or her family wish to leave the house, the Shaster Foundation would pay the householder the sum of money equal to the value of the house (currently estimated at approximately R7000). Once the householder receives payment for their shack and plot they no longer have any entitlements to them. If the householder or any members of the householder’s family breach this contract they are subject to be reviewed by the Street Committee and the city. If the householder breaches the agreement repeatedly or seriously, a decision would have to be made to decide whether or not the householder will be forced to vacate the house.

This is one set of ideas as to how rules and regulation of housing can be organized in Monwabisi Park. More thought and discussion needs to be made on how and who will enforce the rules of housing, what are the consequences if the rules are not adhered to and how much is the housing regulations are enforcement (Laurence, 2009).


The question of how and if rent should be required from the householder still remains open. Paying is important more so to the householder than to the person collecting rent. The rent collected gives the house value to the householder. It is key that the payment system be organize very well. It needs to be easy and flexible to the residents. Many people in Monwabisi Park are unemployed and it is critical to have rent that they can afford. How much rent is paid depends also on what it is used. It could be used for repairs, maintenance, utilities or communal areas.

Rent can also be linked to a co-op housing plan. Co-op housing is controlled by the members of the co-op, which is run by a board of directors. There is no outside landlord. Residents of new housing would pay a monthly charge that is set by the co-op in its annual budget. In some countries, co-ops get government funding to support a rent-geared-to-income program for low-income residents. In addition to providing affordable housing, some co-ops serve the needs of specific communities, including seniors, people with disabilities and artists (BC Housing, 2007).

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Author: WPI CT09 Buildings