Situated on Claim Street in the bustling suburb of Hillbrow, the BG Alexander building was originally a nursing home. By the early 2000’s the B.G. had fallen into extreme disrepair with broken pipes, a collapsed sewerage system and illegal electricity connections. Since it was officially vacated in 2001, this building was taken over by slumlords and squatters running the building into ruin. Over run with illegal tenants, rats and sewerage, this building was in a state of great disrepair when it passed into the care of JOSHCO. BG Alexander has since been converted into single-room accommodation with shared communal amenities. The single rooms share ablutions, kitchens, laundry and common rooms and meet the needs of people earning R3 500 or less a month. The development is characterised by six training centres, a community kitchen, four recreation halls, a sports area, a crèche accommodating 160 children, an auditorium and offices to provide community and social services. Though this kind of accommodation was once considered demeaning, it has proven to be a perfect fit for what the market requires in the way of affordable accommodation for people in the city solely for economic survival. B.G. Alexander is a joint venture between Madulammoho and the JOSHCO. The B.G. is situated at 311 Smit Street and consists of 376 communal housing units, six self-contained bachelor units, 15 one-bedroom apartments, 12 two-bedroom apartments and 81 emergency housing beds.
Once the partnership was formed, illegal residents were evicted from the B.G. and the building’s redevelopment was commenced in three phases.