NEWS Boosting the lives of 20 000 first-time Gauteng homeowners More than 20 000 Gauteng families are set to become first-time homeowners and secure a firm foothold in the residential property market. Cosmopolitan has planned to roll out a total of 30 000 homes over the next eight to 10 years. A n investment by Futuregrowth Asset Management of R625-million in major housing projects currently developed by the Cosmopolitan Group, is primarily being used to fund regulatory approvals and install bulk services for integrated housing developments that have been designed to include amenities ranging from schools to shopping centres in areas close to major CBDs in Gauteng. Cosmopolitan are lower-to-middle-income housing specialists and have more than 20 years of experience. Their houses are priced from R400 000, with packages tailored for families earning between R10 500 to around R30 000 a month. “Demand for housing in this income group far outstrips supply,” says Futuregrowth portfolio manager and investment analyst Paul Semple. “These developments enable mainly first-time homeowners to move from outlying areas into growing metropolitan suburbs situated 8 JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2017 AFFORDABLE SA HOUSING closer to places of work and with amenities and facilities on their doorstep. "This is real social transformation and wealth creation. It gives young families upward mobility by enabling them to create equity and eventually trade up in the property market.” Futuregrowth’s investment will fund the installation of internal and external bulk services ranging from the provision of water to sanitation, electricity and roads prior to proclamation of council-approved stands that will be developed with new houses for sale in the market. Futuregrowth views its investment in the projects as part of its commitment to the principles of responsible investing, explains Semple. “This is a major investment in a market where there is huge demand and a strong social need but where many developers have failed due to problems with financing and because margins are so tight,” he says.