Shawn Cuff, a qualified architect, started his career in social housing as the technical advisor to an NGO called People’s Dialogue on Land and Shelter. This organisation provided all support to the South African Homeless People’s Federation. He then left People’s Dialogue to establish PEP although the focus of PEP’s work was largely a continuation of the support that he had previously been providing to the Federation.
PEP expanded their scope of work dramatically and provided extensive support to the PHPT (People’s Housing Partnership Trust). This was a UN funded organisation that was established to lead the National Housing Department with everything related to the People’s Housing Process. PEP’s work included both technical & social training of both government officials as well as communities, throughout South Africa, that were or intended to embark on the PHP.
Although our vision has remained consistent since inception, PEP as an organisation has always prided itself on the fact that it has continuously adapted to meet the current needs of the communities with whom it works. As the housing environment has shifted over the past 10 years, so has the form of support provided by PEP.
PEP is a well established not-for-profit organisation (054-862-NPO) that has supported organised communities in informal settlements (slums) around South Africa since mid 1998. It was originally established to provide technical assistance to the South African Homeless People’s Federation and subsequently the Federation of the Urban Poor (FEDUP).
Organised communities from informal settlements who seek to improve their livelihoods by accessing the government subsidy via the ‘Peoples Housing Process’ have to go through bureaucratic red-tape, observing countless policies, regulations and procedures which are not pro-poor.