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UN award for Joshco Print E-mail
28 September 2010

The Johannesburg Social Housing Company has been recognised internationally, winning the most prestigious human settlement award.

THE Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) is to receive the United Nations’ 2010 Scroll of Honour award for its holistic approach to providing shelter, which has benefited almost 30 000 people around Joburg.


Joshco chief executive officer Rory Gallocher
Joshco chief executive officer Rory Gallocher
Joshco will receive the award in Shanghai, China on Monday, 4 October.


It is the world’s most prestigious human settlement award; it recognises initiatives that have made outstanding contributions in various fields such as shelter provision, highlighting the plight of homelessness, and leadership in post-conflict reconstruction.

Joshco’s chief executive officer, Rory Gallocher, said the City faced a lot of pressure in delivering good quality and affordable housing.

“It makes a big difference to know that we are doing something right because it is often possible to get buried in the detail and forget that we have many counterparts all over the world who are wrestling with similar problems,” he said. “But it is important for us to count our victories when they come along so that we realise that we are making progress.”

Gallocher said the agency’s submission of its application in July to be considered for the award was a test to see if the past six years of work done by Joshco and the City had made an impact. “We thought it would be interesting to compare our efforts with other initiatives around the world.”

The group was planning to push for more opportunities to develop more affordable stock, he added.

“Our focus right now is on reducing the costs and increasing the revenues. This is important so that we can stretch the budgets as far as possible so that the improved service delivery can be felt by more families in Johannesburg.”

Joshco was established in 2004 by the City of Johannesburg to provide affordable rental housing to the lower income market and to help eradicate the housing backlog.

It has been active in several projects sites, including in Orlando and Industria West, where former hostels have been converted into 213 family apartments. At present, it manages more than 5 000 affordable rental accommodation units and has reduced default on payments from 87 percent to only 6 percent since it started operating in 2006.

The company’s budget is about R175-million.

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Last Updated on 15 October 2010