As in many other settings in developing countries, discussions on urban flooding in South Africa tend to focus on informal settlements. There is less attention to poor but formal housing areas, based on the largely untested assumption that the formalization of housing addresses risk. This is at odds with an extensive literature from the housing and developmental sectors that highlights weaknesses in the location and construction of low-income housing, particularly state-subsidized housing. Drawing on research in 10 poor, flood-prone settlements in Cape Town, South Africa, this article explores whether providing housing addresses risk. The results show that flooding remains a challenge in subsidized housing areas and that risk is linked strongly to the buildings themselves. Poorly designed and constructed dwellings perpetuate risk in low-income areas. While divorced conceptually and practically, disaster risk and housing issues are critically linked, and housing concerns must be factored into discussions on flooding in Cape Town and comparable settings elsewhere.