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2009, 10 januari
The Stanford Housing Initiative
Onderzoek
 
 
The Stanford Housing Initiative is a local South African initiative to organise the building of low cost housing from within the community. Stanford is a rural and in many ways idyllic Victorian village in the Overberg region of the Western Cape. Like all communities in South Africa it was struck by the segregation policies of the Apartheid era and now struggles to heal the wounds, social and physical alike. One of the recent triumphs of The SHI is the recent establishment of the Stanford Housing Cooperative which is supported by Elemental Africa from Cape Town (www.elementalafrica.co.za).


Part of the Stanford Housing Initiative is a Design and Research project organised by Jan Frederik and Sakina Groos of Groos & co architects in close collaboration with Citythoughts architects from Amsterdam and Tina Muwanga and Andreas Werner of TMA architects from Cape Town.

The initiative originates in the strong conviction that Housing for the (formerly) disenfranchised communities in South Africa will have to involve the stakeholders themselves as active participants. Housing for the masses lags behind schedule partly because of a culture of passive anticipation which is itself a legacy of Apartheid politics. RDP Housing, the official vehicle of Mass Housing in SA resembles the housing schemes for migrant workers (for exclusively male households) that were prevalent under Apartheid rule and does not address the typical domestic situation of people in poor communities; nor does it in any way contribute to the healing of the scars left by Apartheid, since it tends to perpetuate the very visible segregation of the communities.

The Stanford Housing initiative aims at a small scale reversal of this tendency by bringing together design and organisational skills with the resilience and survival skills of the people involved. The project entails educational exchange and technical research as well as the contribution of academic governance expertise. Without any material results as yet, it already created tremendous optimism and orientation within the Stanford community. The next step, a small scale building pilot project, is scheduled for this year and anticipated with great expectation.
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