The Narratives of Home and Neighbourhood project examines how state housing models shape the social landscape of South Africa, in this study in the city of Durban. The research focuses on the perspectives of the people who live in state housing units, providing a much-needed qualitative micro-level focus in a field that has existing rich literature on the macro economic and social debates around housing.
Various models of state housing should be locations for investigating not only what it means to make a place a home, but how these built forms shape ideas of self, neighborhoods and broader social belonging.
The project explores a variety of models of state-delivered housing (explained further in the About page).
Given the large number of people living in this type of housing in South Africa, this agenda is pertinent, particularly for the policy ideals of integration and socially mixed neighbourhoods. The choices of where and how to roll out state housing creates not just houses for people, but a symbolic resource that serves to shape people’s ideas of who belongs where in South Africa.