Under the stewardship of CEO Paul Jackson, TUHF champions the ethos of ‘making a difference one neighbourhood, one city block, one community at a time’. This principle has driven significant social and economic impacts in the urban landscapes across the country.
“The essence of well located housing goes beyond shelter. It is an engine of economic growth and social wellbeing for the communities in those precincts. Our approach has always been about nurturing micro-economies within city blocks and neighbourhoods, thereby creating a ripple effect of inclusivity and wealth mobility,” explains Jackson. “This high-touch approach, distinguishing TUHF as an in-city financier, has been instrumental in stimulating business and employment opportunities, fostering mixed-use economies, and promoting mixed-income communities.”
Expanding demand in inner city and in-city areas
While TUHF began as an inner-city financier in Johannesburg, it has progressively broadened its geographical footprint to align with the shifting demands for affordable housing.
“Our journey began with urban regeneration within the Johannesburg inner-city, focusing on affordable housing and black economic empowerment. As the landscape evolved, so did our strategy, leading us to extend our services beyond traditional inner-city areas to include in-city areas,” shares Jackson. “The expansion follows a well-defined in-city strategy. These areas, adjacent to the inner-city and near key urban nodes, align with our market expansion strategy. For instance, in Johannesburg it would be to move with the market to areas like Linden, Randburg, Buccleuch, and Kew, among others.”
The nationwide expansion has seen TUHF establishing a presence in 11 of South Africa’s metros, with a vision to extend its reach into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in the next two years. The strategic growth is backed by an extensive branch network, ensuring a local presence to better understand and meet the market demands.
An example of this is through its uMaStandi township programme it launched in 2015.
“There is enormous demand in South Africa for people to live in well located townships – and we are delighted to have found significant interest from property entrepreneurs looking to develop in those communities,” Jackson says.
As a specialised commercial property financier, TUHF has found that there is large market niche in townships where it is difficult to get commercial property finance at the scale (up to R5 million) in those communities.
Working with clients
“We are not a long-distance financier. Our branches across the nation not only symbolise our growing footprint but also underline our commitment to being hands-on with our clients, ensuring the success of each project we finance,” says Jackson.
Going beyond financing, TUHF actively nurtures a collaborative and supportive ecosystem for budding property entrepreneurs.
Paul Jackson – TUHF
“We encourage interested parties to immerse themselves in the neighbourhood they wish to invest in, to walk the streets, absorb the atmosphere, and identify potential investment buildings. Before developing a business plan, we invite entrepreneurs to engage with us, to share their thoughts and price points, and to benefit from our intimate knowledge of the areas and the lessons we have learnt over the years,” Jackson explains.
He emphasises the importance of leveraging TUHF’s experiential knowledge and the willingness of its community of property entrepreneurs to share their journeys with newcomers. “Our approval process, though thorough, can be quick, and completed within 21 days or less once all information is received. We walk with our clients throughout the entire process, ensuring a robust, sustainable, and commercially viable solution that forms a solid foundation for future growth,” Jackson adds.
As TUHF embarks on its next chapter, the focus is to consolidate its brand, enhance market reach, and continue being a catalyst for urban transformation.
“TUHF’s continued growth reflects the sheer size of the prospering rental accommodation market and the opportunities this market represents in our ‘perfect niche’. With a track record spanning 20-years of financing over 50,000 units and investing over R8.3 billion into urban housing, we are keen on extending our impact further across South Africa and, beyond the country’s borders by partnering with property entrepreneurs,” concludes Jackson.
The legacy of TUHF over the last two decades sets a solid foundation for its ambitious journey ahead, reaffirming its commitment to shaping vibrant urban communities in every city and town it invests in.