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National Association of Social Housing Oganisations (NASHO)


The National Association of Social Housing Oganisations – NASHO – was formed at an inaugural congress held in May 2002 and formally launched by the then National Housing Minister, Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele.

NASHO currently has 19 full member Social Housing Institutions (SHIs), all Not for Profit Companies or Municipal Entities, and 6 associate member organisations. Collectively, our membership owns and/or manages approximately 30 000 units, providing subsidised rental accommodation for over 115 000 low-to middle income families throughout the country.

NASHO serves its members with advocacy, information, and training. Maintaining strong links between NASHO and its members is a priority for the federation, in order to reduce the isolation of individual members and to ensure that services and information are widely available.

What Is Social Housing?

Social Housing aims to contribute towards restructuring South African society through economic, social, spatial location and functional housing opportunities. It aims to achieve economic empowerment, integration, sustainable human settlements and improving the overall functioning of the housing sector by widening the range of affordable housing options available (rental housing). Social Housing targets facility rich areas, all within walking distance or well connected to the transport network.

What We Do?

For over a decade, NASHO has been fulfilling the roles of :


NASHOs membership is diverse. SHIs can provide a range of subsidised rental accommodation – from communal facilities, to bachelor apartments, to family units. They can build on land that has never before been developed (greenfield projects) or refurbish existing structures (brownfield projects) including high rises, low rises, duplex and stand alone homes.

Organisational structures also vary among SHIs as some are affiliated with or managed by municipalities, while others are independent not for profit organisations.

Unique histories, financial circumstances and focuses are also factors that contribute to the diversity of SHI experiences and sector challenges.

Despite their differences, SHIs share a common objective: to provide South African’s with affordable housing in thriving neighbourhoods in our cities.

Moreover, all SHIs must adhere to the same regulations and accreditation process governed by national legislation and regulations.

NASHO, given it’s in-depth understanding of both its members and the sector’s governing bodies, is an ideal intermediary to address challenges that exist in both policy and practice. By creating opportunities for dialogue, liaising with stakeholders and encouraging transparency, NASHO helps SHIs make sense of the political and regulatory landscape on the one hand, while helping governments understand SHI needs on the other.


NASHO brings together social housing practitioners and professionals who have dedicated their careers to strengthening South Africa’s housing sector.

While priorities change as South Africa continues to evolve, NASHO is the constant. NASHO staff and executive committee members have accumulated a wealth of knowledge on social housing including best practices determined through trial and error as well as tenant consultations.

International partners also add to NASHOs know-how by sharing their experiences developing exemplary social housing projects.

NASHO shares its expertise by hosting and participating in workshops, conferences, and study tours. The organisation is also pleased to make itself available to the media to share perspectives on the state and development of social housing.


 NASHO is the voice of South Africa’s social housing sector. The association speaks on behalf of its members to inform the decisions of South Africa’s municipal, provincial and national policymakers. NASHO also seeks to hold governments to account on its pledge to deliver adequate housing options.

In addition to engaging in government relations, NASHO seeks to improve public understanding of social housing. The Faces of Social Housing mobile exhibit tells the story of SHIs and how they not only improve neighbourhoods, but also change people’s lives. The exhibition features several portraits, information banners and a video where planners, architects and tenants speak about the value of social housing in their own words.

NASHO also promotes the social entrepreneurship of its members who address the issues of homelessness and urban sprawl using market principles to successfully establish sustainable social housing projects that provide safe rental accommodation at very low cost. Given their record of high rental collection, SHIs have proven to be sound investments that produce both financial and social returns.


Social housing in South Africa is a success story – but it is one that is still in progress. While some SHIs are thriving, others find themselves still learning the business.

No formal education programmes in South Africa focus on social housing. What’s more, the 2010 closure of the Social Housing Foundation (SHF) meant the end of their Technical Services Support Programme and Public Sector Support Programme, which both provided valuable training opportunities. Yet the need for trained and knowledgeable staff is growing as South Africa’s young social housing sector continues to develop quickly.

In response to the resulting training gap, NASHO launched two initiatives: the Capacity Development Unit (CDU) and the Technical Services Centre (TSC).

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