Voice of the Cape

From the news desk

Affordable housing available, just not where most want it

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Capetonians know very well the struggle of affording decent housing in the Mother City. The uphill battle for affordable housing and overall property prices in the city have left many prospective first-time homebuyers disillusioned.

According to a recent report, Cape Town retains its reputation as the most expensive city for real estate in South Africa. Property24 showed that the cost Cape Town residential properties have spiked by 58%. For middle to low income earners, buying property in the Mother City is becoming more out of reach.

However, Illana Melzer of Cape Town-based strategic research consultancy, 71point4, says that there are affordable housing opportunities, just not in ideal areas.

“…what we’re seeing in the retail market is that there are affordable houses to buy, but often they’re in areas that people might not want to live in, such as areas where crime rates are particularly high or where transportation is not adequately provided,” said Melzer.

She explained, however, that while purchasing a property in current times can seem a daunting, nearly impossible, task, there are subsidies available to lower-income earners.

These subsidies come in the form of government subsidy housing [RDP housing] and the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP).

The RDP market serves households with an income of less than R3,500 per month, while FLISP serves households with an income of above R3,500 but below R22 000 per month.

The availability of these subsidies significantly affect the affordability of housing opportunities and are generous in amount, according to Melzer.

“The FLISP programme is a housing subsidy for first-time home buyers to assist with purchasing a home. The subsidy is paid to your bank or financial institution and will reduce your monthly loan instalments, making it more affordable to purchase a home” – Western Cape Government

According to the Western Cape Government, you qualify for the FLISP subsidy if:

  • You earn between R3 501 to R22 000.
  • You are a South African citizen or have permanent residency in South Africa.
  • You have not received a government housing subsidy before.
  • You have not owned fixed residential property before.
  • You are competent to contract – over 18 years.
  • You are married or cohabiting.
  • You are single with financial dependents.

City requests public to update housing database

The City of Cape Town is asking residents who are registered on the City’s housing database to ensure that their personal information and contact details are up to date.

The updating of information on the database is necessary to maintain accurate information, to ensure that beneficiaries are contactable, remove duplicate records and to guarantee that the correct information is used to process subsidy applications, according to the City.

“Sometimes residents change addresses and contact numbers and so on, but they do not update their records on the database, which poses a challenge when they need to be contacted should the City, via our subsidy administrators, need to reach them regarding a housing opportunity or their housing subsidy application.

They should also update their profiles and provide supporting documentation should they have dependants or have special needs or dependants with special needs.

Furthermore, to make services more convenient, where possible, the City offers residents the opportunity to submit online applications to register on the database. Applicants can also verify their status by sending a SMS with their 13-digit identity number followed by a space and their surname to 44108.

Applicants are encouraged to ensure that the correct cellphone number is listed as the one-time password will be sent to the number before the status is provided,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi, in a media release.

For more information regarding the registering or updating of your details on the housing database, call 021 444 0333 or send an e-mail to: housing.db@capetown.gov.za

VOC


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