1991: A People’s Dialogue on Land and Shelter is called by Catholic Welfare and Development and 150 squatter leaders regardless of political persuasion come together
1992: The support NGO People’s Dialogue on Land and Shelter is founded after international exposure to Asian NGOs.
1993: South African poor communities – organised in more than 50 housing savings schemes across the country – make contact with the Zimbabwean federation
1994: The savings schemes are collectively launched as the South African Homeless People’s Federation
1995: uTshani Fund begins operating after initial capitalisation by Housing Minister Joe Slovo and donor funding
1996: South African and Indian federations spearhead the launch of Slum / Shack Dwellers International (SDI), made up initially of 9 federations in Asia and Africa
1997: SAHPF receives the UN Habitat Scroll of Honour / uTshani concludes a legal agreement with the National Department of Housing and pledges 5,660 upfront housing subsidies for the period 1996 – 2001
1998: Federation and uTshani build house number 10,000 in 3 years
1999 – 2001: Provinces are slow to release housing subsidies and uTshani is forced to curtail operations and suspend new developments
2002: Community Organisation Resource Centre is founded and supports the Coalition of the Urban Poor (CUP) and Alliance of Rural Communities (ARC) / FEDUP enters into pilot project with Cities Alliance (Durban, Manila, Mumbai)
2001 – 2005: uTshani develops a new set of products based on pre-approval of housing subsidies
2004 – 2005: CORC supports CUP in the Urban Land Programme whereby the Methodist Church would fast-track a land transfer programme
2005: Split in the Homeless People’s Federation and the Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor (FEDUP) is founded
2006: Housing Minister Sisulu recognises the role of uTshani Fund in “Breaking New Ground” housing policy and signs a MoU binding Provincial MECs to pledging 1,000 subsidies per Province per annum to FEDUP.
2007: National and Provincial Joint Working Groups established, bringing together Federation leaders and human settlement officials to facilitate more people-centred housing delivery / Minister Sisulu visits India and Thailand with Federation. She agrees to chair Urban Poor Fund International (SDI finance facility).
2008 – 2009: Contracts signed with several municipalities for housing delivery
2008: Federation triggers the birth of the Informal Settlement Network
2009: City of Cape Town and Federation and ISN sign agreement to conduct 11 in situ upgrading projects together.
2010: Growth of ISN in shack settlements in the major cities of SA
2011: SA Alliance shifts gears towards upgrading, establishes CUFF, and establishes first locally based ‘Urban Poor Fund’ as an outcome of the MoU signed with Stellenbosch Municipality
2012: ISN and City of Cape Town embarks on 22 upgrading and subdivision projects across the City