Paradise Park, situated on more or less 22 hectare of land, just off the R43 in Vermont was sold in 2017. The buyer has not been able to take full possession of the property because there are still people living in the park and concern was raised about their fate. Not all of the extent of Erf 927 is used for the purposes of the Park.
An eviction application was served on the residents of Paradise Park (which is situated on private land) in terms of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction Act (PIE).
Subsequent to the notice of eviction, a social worker was appointed by the new owner of Paradise Park, who, through her reports, sought to identify permanent residents in need of emergency accommodation. 25 individual people were interviewed and the reports are confidential.
Where an eviction is sought and the possibility exists that it may be granted, the Municipality’s constitutional obligation to provide emergency accommodation is triggered. The Municipality is therefore obligated to provide temporary emergency accommodation for those who will be left destitute. Emergency accommodation does not mean formal housing, but a plot with shared services where a temporary structure can be erected.
The Municipality was listed as a Respondent in the Eviction order application and as such has to provide a housing report, should any residents be left genuinely homeless as a result of the eviction order, outlining what steps the Municipality proposes to address homelessness and make temporary emergency accommodation available in which the families can be accommodated.
In response to this, a report served before Council at the end of January 2018, and Council resolved as follows:
1. That the allocation of as many plots within the Stanford development as are required to meet the needs of those who require emergency accommodation in Paradise Park or elsewhere, with services and structures erected thereon, be approved;
2. That the alienation of land identified by the Manager: Property Administration in the alternative for the development of emergency accommodation for all of those who qualify for same in Paradise Park or elsewhere, be approved; and
3. That an application to Province for land and / or funding in terms of the Housing Code for emergency accommodation be approved.
A funding application has been prepared and submitted as a result of the Council decision. The Municipality will engage with all of the parties to the eviction application to ensure that families who will be genuinely homeless, if evicted, can be accommodated at the temporary emergency accommodation, when funding has been secured and it is ready for occupation.