Retirement villages has always been in our newspaper for the poor maintenance which the units receive from the City of Johannesburg. And when it came to the City’s response the lack of maintenance, it was always because of financial constraints.
This time around it is the struggle to get into the retirement villages altogether. Last year, Elizabeth Swartz (79) finally received a unit after 12 years on the City of Johannesburg’s Housing Schemes waiting list. Lionel Myles
(71), a radio presenter from Kofifi FM finds himself in the same position.
After applying in 2013, and having no documents to back him up, Myles had to reapply in April this year for a double unit at the Housing Department because he was not found on the system.
Myles explained that back in 2013 it wasn’t really an urgent matter because he still had an accommodation, unfortunately for Myles, the matter is more urgent now as he and his wife lives in the garage of his daughter after they had to move from where they were living.
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After many years of working in the community, the radio presenter always thought that he’s good work would pay off but after months of waiting to get a unit Myles finds himself asking many questions.
“I’m aware that there are people who have been on the waiting list for quite a while now but my point is why don’t
they fill the units that are vacant if there’s a waiting list?”
Myles explained that he spoke to councillors who then referred him to a manager at 222 Smit Street.
“I spoke to him and they told me that I have to wait,” he added.
Myles then approached other councillors and then was able to have a meeting with the director. According to Myles,
there were two men who had to inspect the situation and it was said that they get back to him over a week and it already been three weeks and still they haven’t gotten back to him.
Myles has visited retirement villages in the area and found that there have been units that have been vacant for over a year but still there is a waiting list.
One would think that you’d be relaxing after retirement, however, there seems to be more stressful situation such as having a roof over your head.
Ward Councillor Susan Stewart said that people have to go and apply at the Allocations Department and was asked about the waiting list, Stewart said she cannot comment on the waiting time-frame because there are a waiting list and people will be allocated as per their position on the list.
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