n Africa Insight - The role of the Church in housing provision : implications for South Africa

Volume 37, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


The Church is one of the institutions that has been involved in addressing issues of social justice and meeting basic needs in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. The aim of this article is to discuss the role of the Church in housing provision by drawing on the international and South African experience. The underlying assumption is that the Church plays an important role in alleviating housing poverty, for its target groups are neither the focus of the state nor of the private developers. This article identifies the key features of church-provided housing and emphasise that its guiding principles and are different from those of other agencies, hence its integrated approach to housing delivery. Given the stretched capacity of local government to deliver and the experience of the Church in housing provision, there is a need to harness the capacity within the Church and other non-governmental organisations to deal with the housing crisis in South Africa.

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