Changes in housing subsidies welcomed

Western Cape Human Settlements MEC, Tertuis Simmers, says the social housing household income qualification criteria adjustment will ultimately enable more citizens to access affordable rental opportunities and enable the department to initiate more social housing projects.

Simmers welcomed National Minister of Human Settlements, Mmamoloko Kubayi’s changes on human settlements subsidies and other portfolio issues, which include social housing adjustment of the qualification criteria of household income from R1 500 – R15 000 to R1 850 – R22 000 gross monthly income.

“The social housing household income qualification criteria adjustment will enable those who could not access housing opportunities, due to earning higher than the previously prescribed household income band, to access these opportunities. This will also assist youth with a household income of up R22 000 and who are not ready for a mortgaged home,” Simmers said.

Extension of FLISP gives hope to more people

The MEC also commended the extension of Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) to non-mortgage housing finance facilities from 2022/23 financial year, saying it will particularly be of benefit to citizens in the province.

“The FLISP extension to non-mortgage housing finance facilities gives hope that more people who were unable to access this programme due to not qualifying for a mortgage loan for various reasons, will now be able to access this programme through various non-mortgage housing finance facilities,” Simmers said.

During a media briefing last week Friday, Kubayi announced that FLISP may be used in combination with one of the following products and situations:

  • Housing loans granted or guaranteed by a pension and provident fund.
  • Unsecured housing loans from any registered lender.
  • Housing loans granted or guaranteed by cooperative- or community-based savings scheme.
  • FLISP can be used in combination with individual own resources or savings.
  • Housing loans supported by employer-based schemes such as Government Employees Housing Scheme or private sector Employer Assisted Housing Schemes (EAHS).
  • Housing loans supported by Permission-to-Occupy (PTOs) issued by government or recognised Traditional Authority.

Kubayi also announced that with effect from 1 April 2022, the FLISP quantum range increases by between 7.2% and 10%.​ ​

“Not only are these amendments opening up an opportunity for those who were previously excluded from affordable housing opportunities, but it also presents construction and property entities the chance to form part of the provision of social housing to Western Cape residents by applying as accredited Social Housing Institutions (SHIs).

“This will enable them to partner with government in the provision of social housing opportunities to qualifying residents. The adjustments to the affordable housing programmes will certainly result in increased demand. This demand will need us to work closely and together with private sector,” Simmers said.

He further welcomed the increase of Human Settlements Development Grant (HSDG) allocation for bulk infrastructure from 3% to 5% and the new directives applicable to deal with natural disasters, including floods, thunderstorms and fires.

“As the province is often affected by fires, the allowance to now utilize available funds from HSDG, USDG (Urban Settlement Development Grant) and ISUPG (Informal Settlements Upgrading Partnership Grant) to intervene in dealing with the disasters will enable us to respond timeously in such situations.

“These changes will assist the Department in getting closer to achieving its mission of providing settlements that offer good basic and socio-economic services, a range of rental and ownership options that respond to the varied needs and incomes of households,” the MEC said. –​SAnews.gov.za— 

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