Large amounts of furniture on an inner city street normally are signs of an eviction. This past weekend, however, the trucks offloading beds, cupboards, fridges and computers were a sign of over 160 families moving into two recently renovated buildings; Cresthill and Gaelic Mansions in Hillbrow.
Both buildings were taken over in the City of Johannesburg’s Better Buildings Programme.
"The conditions in both buildings were absolutely atrocious" says Mike Mohoase, JHC’s Technical Services Officer.
The upgrades took place over eight months and cost approximately R19 million.
"Cresthill in particular was a difficult building to work on but bringing it back to normality was worth it. The building was previously a den of crime, and was well known to residents and police as the home of known muggers, drug dealers and pimps. It also had a number of shebeens operating from the building," explains Mike.
The two buildings bring the number of JHC owned buildings to 24, providing almost 2800 units which are home to around 8500 men, women and children.
Cresthill is also in the eKhaya neighbourhood area, where 15 building owners have formed a neighbourhood association. The association has recently established a street security patrols and a cleaning service which have significantly lessened crime and grime in the streets.