Increasing housing backlogs in all of the large cities of South African mean there is an urgent need to develop additional sustainable and affordable urban accommodation. Existing approaches suffer from high costs of development, poor locations, unaffordable rental or purchase costs, high utility costs and poor environmental impacts. A new development proposed for Alexandra, Johannesburg attempts to address these shortcomings by being well located and applying innovative design and operational models. The paper describes the project and applies the Sustainable Building Assessment Tool (SBAT) to critically evaluate the proposed approach. It concludes that the project includes useful models that can be applied to improve the affordability and sustainability of housing projects and makes recommendations for further development.