Social Housing Regulatory Authority


Client: Support Programme for Social Housing, Department of Human Settlements
Sector: Housing
Services: Organisational Development Support
Research, Policy and Strategy Support
Date: November 2005 - November 2006


Housing is a crucial problem within the South African context and is seen as one of the priority areas for development by the South African government. Social Housing is a relatively new sector in South Africa and is specifically targeted at institutions that provide tenure arrangements.

A significant number of social housing institutions (SHIs) have emerged in South Africa and have predominantly developed social housing stock by accessing the government’s institutional subsidy, together with loan finance from the National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC).

In many instances funding for institutional set-up and operational costs has been sourced through donor and local authority grants. The heavy reliance upon grant funding has resulted in an unsustainable situation amongst the majority of the SHIs. The social housing sector, with some notable exceptions, has performed poorly in respect of governance, fiscal management, project and institutional viability and housing delivery.

This is despite significant government resources. Social housing institutions and social housing projects are failing and significant government investment is being jeopardized.
A Support Programme for Social Housing is created to establish a viable, sustainable social housing sector in South Africa and provide the basis for its future expansion.

In 2004, Government initiates a housing policy review which results in recommendations to establish a Social Housing Regulatory Authority to oversee the social housing sector and perform the functions of accreditation, performance monitoring and compliance. It is envisaged that interventions and support measures will also be initiated by the regulatory authority as required. The scope and functions of the regulatory authority will be laid down in a Social Housing Act. At this stage, the Social Housing Act has reached the stage of the Social Housing Bill.

Project Brief

Shisaka Development Management Services is contracted by The Support Programme for Social Housing, with EU funding, to support the establishment of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority. The brief is to develop a business case to argue the merits of the establishment of a regulatory authority for the social housing sector and will provide the following:

  • A legally constituted and effectively led institution with appropriate structure to respond to its mandate
  • A strategic plan to support sustainable social housing sector
  • A suitably resourced and capacitated institution to ensure effectiveness
  • Experience of improved delivery and performance in the social housing sector as a result of effective regulation and capacity building grants and interventions
  • A regulatory authority that enjoys the support of its stakeholders

Project Team

The project team is assembled and drawn from Shisaka Development Management Services and an International European Union Contractor and comprises the following resources:

  • International social housing regulatory expert
  • South African social housing experts
  • Organisational development experts
  • Public sector legal expert
  • Business process experts

Business Case

A business case is developed by the project team and is presented to the client - it includes the following components:

  • The rationale for the establishment of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority
  • The proposed corporate & legislative form of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority
  • The role & functions of the entity
  • The structure & staffing
  • The SHRA Council
  • Internal and external accountability
  • Risk assessment
  • Implementation arrangements
  • Financial implications

Social Housing Act 16 2008

In November 2008, the Social Housing Act 16 is promulgated:

To establish and promote a sustainable social housing environment; to define the functions of national, provincial and local governments in respect of social housing; to provide for the establishment of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority in order to regulate all social housing institutions obtaining or having obtained public funds; to allow for the undertaking of approved projects by other delivery agents with the benefit of public money; to give statutory recognition to social housing institutions; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Current Status

The Council of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority is in the process of being appointed; and will be followed shortly thereafter by the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer, the development of a business plan and other set up activities. The SHRA is anticipated to operational from the end of 2010.

Telephone: + 27 11 447 6388

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