Community-centered Housing Developments

PEP has two decades experience working on community-centred PHP housing developments. Our skillset includes; assisting communities to identify appropriate land, conducting detailed feasibility studies, negotiating with local authorities, securing planning & environmental approvals, accessing government subsidies and project design, planning and management. PEP is currently expanding its housing programme to include households who do not qualify for the full government-housing subsidy. This will include mixed-income developments through cross-subsidisation and providing rental housing for backyard shack dwellers.


Informal Settlement Upgrading

In line with national policy shifts, and motivated by an incremental approach, PEP will deepen existing work to further support community led upgrading of informal settlements. Based on substantive experience key activities under this programme include: participatory settlement planning, settlement improvement and access to basic services, risk mitigation, incremental formalisation of tenure, project packaging, accessing government subsidies and settlement regularisation.

In 2019 PEP was appointed by the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements to provide support to Bitou and Agulhas municipalities as part of the Informal Settlements Support Programme (ISSP).



Sustainability and addressing the vulnerability of poor people due to climate change will be the crossing-cutting theme across all of PEP’s programmes.  Research into alternative and green building practices provides PEP with a firm basis to implement sustainable, environmentally friendly interventions across the scope of our housing, unblocking and upgrading programmes. In addition our work is continuously informed by engagement with peer organisations with whom we collectively advocate for community centred approaches to informal settlement upgrading to be recognised in policy.

Unblocking Stalled Projects

Unblocking stalled projects and hence facilitating the provision of formal title to beneficiaries is one of PEP’s core competencies. Experiences in Hazeldean and Vukuzenzele underpin our vision that resolving “stalled” housing and upgrading projects demands a complicated mix of social and technical capacities.   According to research (Urban LandMark -2011) approximately 50% of housing  beneficiaries (1-1.5 million households) do not have title deeds to their properties. PEP’s previous technical/social experience, and deepening relationship with the City of Cape Town, places us in a unique position to explore partnerships around “unblocking” projects on the city’s books.