Rachel Parsons, 53, still lives in her sister’s backyard
A Heideveld ouma says an administration error has left her without a house.

Rachel Parsons, 53, says after being on the housing list for more than a decade, she received a call from officials in 2015 at the Heideveld housing office to say her house was ready and she should go and sign her title deed.

But when she got there, she was told there was a mix-up with her identity number and the house had been allocated to someone else.

Ever since then she has been trying to get answers and in the meantime the double-storey home in Suther Peak Street was recently occupied by other mense.

Family has TB due to living conditions

She says in 2005, she and her husband Frank applied for a house after living in her sister’s backyard for nearly 20 years.

“At that time my husband was alive but they put me down as a widow on the paperwork and said it was a mistake they will fix. We went back to them in 2009 and they fixed it and then we waited for a house,” explains Rachel.

She says her husband died from TB in 2015 and months later she received a call from a City official to say she would be receiving a house in a new development at the back of Heideveld.

“I nearly had a heart attack (from joy) because my husband died from TB and me and all my children got TB because we live on top of each other. This place gets very damp and my grandchildren get sick a lot,” she says.

Heideveld houses

“Then I got there and they gave me the papers and the address of the new house. Then they told me the papers had my ID number, my address and my contact number on it, but someone else’s name, and the house is going to her.”

Rachel says she was devastated and kept trying to get answers but officials now refuse to see her.

“I am confused by what happened to the house, we are living in this backyard for 30 years already. We don’t even know what it is like to sit in a bath because we never had one,” she says.

Mayco member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron, did not confirm the “mix-up” and says Rachel is not eligible to receive a house yet, according to the City’s database.

Video: Monique Duval/Daily Voice

“Mrs Parsons submitted her late husband’s death certificate to the City in 2016. Prior to doing so, she was not registered on the database, neither was she included on her husband’s profile,” he says.

“However, since Mrs Parsons was married to an applicant who was registered on the City’s housing database, the application was transferred into her name with the application date being 4 May 2009 and the registration number 430226.

“The City can confirm that Mrs Parsons has not been selected for a housing opportunity as yet...”

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