Housing MEC warns on property subsidies

Housing MEC warns on property subsidies

Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela says the national government should not raise "unrealistic expectations" among the public with the announcement of a R1 billion fund to help people secure home loans.

"I doubt that the programme will begin in April, because to implement (it) we need to be ready with the policy and administrative structures... and, as of yet, have received no clarity or guidance," he said.

During the State of the Nation address last week, President Jacob Zuma announced a R1bn gap housing guarantee fund for those who cannot access RDP housing or home loans from banks, but earn between R3 501 and R15 000 a month.

Those earning R3 501 would qualify for the full subsidy of R83 000, while those earning R15 000 would receive a R4 000 subsidy. The housing fund will be managed and implemented by the National Housing Fund Corporation.

"My view is that through stabilising the property market and transferring assets into the hands of more people who can pay for and maintain these assets, and lowering the costs of their mortgages, we will avoid a financial crisis brought on by the collapse of the middleincome property market, as was recently seen in the subprime mortgage crisis in the US," he said.

Yesterday, Madikizela said he would like to see a much greater amount made available for the fund, "so that the hundreds of thousands of earners in this category in our province can be assisted and people can be quickly empowered with asset ownership".

"The subsidy to help people earning between R3 501 and R15 000 a month will not benefit everyone, but only a limited few, and on a first come, first serve basis. I welcome the government's initiative to provide a housing subsidy of up to R83 000.

"However, the subsidy will need to be drawn from the Western Cape government's budget allocation, and we will not be given any extra funding for this. As such, the amount of subsidies we will be able to offer will be limited.

"I would welcome an increase in the Western Cape human settlements budget in order to better serve the gap market," he said.

He said the statement of R83 000 for everyone must be clarified because those earning R3 501 a month would qualify for the full subsidy of R83 000, which would be decreased on a sliding scale as the income of the applicant increased, which might result in those earning R15 000 receiving only around R4 000.

Last night, Madikizela held a public meeting at the Andile Msizi Hall in Khayelitsha to explain how housing allocations will take place for the Nuwe Begin Housing Project in Mfuleni.

About 900 RDP houses will be allocated to residents of Khayelitsha's TR Section out of a total of 1 900 houses.

The beneficiaries will be drawn from people living on the wetland and also those from surrounding areas, based on the City of Cape Town's housing list.

The rest of the housing will include 700 gap houses, and another 300 RDP houses will be allocated to people in Mfuleni.

He said the selection would prioritise those who had been waiting the longest - the elderly and the most deserving.

Cape Argus


Denny Crane

Denny Crane
It's not me ... yet. Denny Crane from the TV series Boston Legal. Click on picture if you're not sure who he is!