‘Jumping the Queue’ – Waiting Lists and other Myths

‘Jumping the Queue’, Waiting Lists and other Myths: Perceptions and Practice around Housing Demand and Allocation in South Africa

Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa & Community Law Centre

“Politicians and officials responsible for housing policy, at all levels of the state, have sought to create the impression that housing allocation is a rational process, which prioritises those in the greatest need, and those who have been waiting for a subsidised house the longest. The ideologically (and emotionally) charged concepts of ‘the waiting list’ and ‘the housing queue’ are emblematic of this. However, the situation is far more complicated. This report attempts to unpack some of the complexity and provide recommendations to government departments at all levels. It argues that the housing waiting list is a myth and should be eradicated from public discourse on housing in favour of a more nuanced way of characterising the rational, appropriate and humane responses to the broad range of housing needs in South Africa, which are not currently catered for by the market.”

The full report is available online at: http://www.seri-sa.org/images/Jumping_the_Queue_MainReport_Jul13.pdf