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Local Government Position on Municipal Responses to Backyarders and Backyard Dwellings

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Alison Tshangana

01 May 2014

South African Local Government Association


Alison Tshangana

Policy brief

Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa

South Africa

The overall objective of this Local Government Position on Municipal Responses to Backyarders and Backyard Dwellings (PDF, 719 KB) document is to capture and reflect a consensus of the local government sphere on the issue of backyarders and backyard dwellings in South Africa. As such, it offers a framework or guidelines that municipalities can use to develop their own individual policies, strategies, and projects related to backyard rental.


The document has five aims:

  1. To succinctly describe the backyarding sub-sector (its scope, nature, and role) and clearly identify the ‘problem’ from a local government perspective.
  2. To set out the ultimate vision or aim which local government holds for the backyarding sector.
  3. To identify principles which local government aims to adhere to in designing and implementing backyarder interventions.
  4. To recommend interventions which may be appropriate for local government, to improve the situation of those currently living in backyards, and to increase the supply of affordable, decent backyard rental units.
  5. To make a set of recommendations for policy changes and lobbying activities required to make resources available to municipalities for backyarder interventions.

Abstract based directly on source.


Website References

Adequacy of shelter

Affordable housing

Backyard dwellings

Built environment





Human settlements

Informal sector



Local economic development

Local government



Poverty & inequality

Rental housing

South Africa


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