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The aim of Yeast City Housing is to provide decent, affordable accommodation to low income and at-risk people in the inner city of Tshwane, as well as to people with special needs.
A few factors contributed to the creation of this social housing company:
· Due to road developments and other renewal projects a substantial number of low-cost housing units in the inner city were demolished. Over one December many people knocked on the doors of inner city churches, enquiring about accommodation.
· Single room facilities and rental apartment buildings in the inner city were at risk, due to abandonment by landlords, exploitative management practices, or the conversion of buildings for other uses.
· People moved through the communities of the Tshwane Leadership Foundation / Pretoria Community Ministries (www.tlf.org.za), found jobs, but the gap in the market between the streets or a shelter, and decent housing was often too wide; we needed to add another step to the housing ladder.
· We recognized that we had people in the faith communities of Pretoria Community Ministries who had housing skills and expertise to draw from, and started to discern that housing could be a vital area for the church to invest itself in, a way to contribute to inner city regeneration, healthy communities and stable families.
In 2002 Yeast City Housing received the award as Housing Developer of the Year from the Institute for Housing (Gauteng), for its pioneering role in the provision of transitional institutional and special needs housing, and social support for the inner city poor of Pretoria.
It changed the physical landscape where it developed projects and the human landscape for those who benefited from its housing. However, it has serious challenges: to maintain good quality living environments and to build a sense of community and neighbourliness that goes far beyond landlord-tenant relationships. As Yeast grows, it needs to draw deep from its journey to retrieve resources that will help it stay true to its original vision.
Yeast City Housing is governed by a Board of Directors, which employs a Managing Director to run the company.
Vision, Mission and Values
Our vision is to see healthy communities and neighbourhoods, with access to decent and affordable housing.
Our core business is the creation and management of affordable and appropriate housing options for:
Low-to-medium income families,
People in the Tshwane Metropolitan who are potential beneficiaries of housing subsidies and who require security of tenure.
Our secondary goals, yet of integral importance is to facilitate opportunities for community empowerment and care through:
Providing relevant information through linkages with other social services and
Through capacity-building programs with our tenants,
This happens through events in the buildings, recognition of birthdays, deaths or other significant events in the lives of tenants, and specific care of children.
Yeast City Housing accepts its responsibility to generate innovative housing options for the poor. We are based on certain values and acknowledgements, which are its perceived strengths.
Yeast is a grass-root community organization, informed by local churches, residents, staff and board members.
We value social justice in which the poor will have access to decent, affordable housing facilities, centrally located and close to job opportunities.
We value the dignity of the individual and families, and through decent and affordable quality housings, this will be affirmed.
We value compassion and community, not only providing a housing unit but offering a therapeutic process of healing, meeting people where they are at, and drawing them into a community.
We value economic empowerment, building on the capacities of people and communities, so that the poor and marginal do not remain poor but can take their rightful place in urban society, contributing to its well-being.
We value cultural diversity and seek to be culturally conscious and to facilitate reconciliation in the process of housing people.
We value the city as a place of hope and opportunity, acknowledging urbanizing and economic realities.
We value leadership and therefore develop residential capacities to manage facilities in partnership, and eventually everyone alone.
We are a non-profit organization with the sole purpose and interests of the inner city poor yet in a financially sound and viable business manner.
We function in close partnership with other organizations and use these networks to help people with the assimilation back into society: the accountability of local government and need for institutional support in the provision of housing and acknowledged.
We value the importance of stewardship and offer opportunities for people to be stewards of their time, money and expertise, as they work closely with inner city poor communities; volunteers could assist in various ways which will further support the affordability of housing.
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