In South Africa a start-up called Bitprop is helping with affordable housing by building and securing tenants for backyard rental units (in return for a percentage of the income stream from the rentals for a set number of years).
Our duties include locating investors, drawing up professional building plans, sourcing reliable local builders, and enforcing good environmental practices. Furthermore, we work with the homeowner to develop landlord, financial and entrepreneurial skills.How micro property development could transform townships in a big way | OUR FUTURE CITIES
It is estimated that 30 million people in South Africa do not have formal property titles to their homes. So a significant outcome of the process is securing a recordable claim to the property for the owner.
Bitprop works to “Enable micro property development at a macro scale”. We want to prove that previously ‘invisible’ property assets, which are not recognised by normative legal or financial institutions, can be developed into valuable investment opportunities. We do this by taking each homeowner that we work with through the process of securing their title deed.How micro property development could transform townships in a big way | OUR FUTURE CITIES
The focus is on generating income from the renters. But property ownership does more for homeowners including incentivizing repairs and improvements. Perhaps, more importantly, the titling process enables people to buy and sell their property more freely should their circumstances warrant a change. If Bitprop is as successful as they wish to be, they will create a valuable public good.
Our dream is that we do this so well—because we have the commercial incentives to do it well because if we do, the risk in our property investment goes down—that we, on a voluntary, private basis, start mapping land, step by step, and then we get the council to acknowledge this as a low-cost, digital- and- technology-based title deed.20 Minutes With: Carl Sammeli, C0-Founder of Bitprop | Barron’s
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