On Tuesday, 24 October 2017, Overstrand Executive Mayor Rudolph Smith received Western Cape Human Settlements MEC, Bonginkosi Madikizela and his delegation for the second of a series of roadshows on Affordable Housing. Held in Mount Pleasant, the well-attended event forms part of an initiative aimed at informing the public of the various housing programmes available for those seeking access to affordable housing in the Overstrand. Also present was Overberg Deputy Mayor Archie Klaas, Overstrand Mayoral committee members, councillors, directors and a host of housing officials.
Proceedings kicked off with a warm welcome by Overstrand’s Cllr Andrew Komani. This was followed by MEC Madikizela providing an informative address that highlighted the Department’s planning strategy for affordable housing projects, an acknowledgement of the increasing need for housing solutions and the need to ensure that the right people were prioritised in the delivery of houses. “The principle of first-come-first-served must be adhered to. Those people, who meet the qualifying criteria and have been on the waiting list for a long time, should be first in line to receive a house,” stated the MEC.
Insight was further given on the Department’s different categories of housing assistance on offer. In terms of the affordable housing market, reference was made to the Finance Linked Institutional Subsidy Programme (FLISP) available to people who earn between R3 500 and R 15 000 per month. Here a once-off down payment is afforded where mortgage finance has been secured from a bank to acquire ownership of a residential property for the first time. By reducing the initial mortgage loan amount, the monthly repayment instalments then become more affordable. The subsidy can be used to purchase any residential property or previously subsidised housing stock, as well as to build a house on a serviced stand (by NHBRC approved builders).
Another aspect mentioned was the Social Housing programme that pertains to a rental option afforded to individuals or joint household earnings of between R1 500 and R 7 500 per month. This provides for secure long-term rental in properties owned and managed by Social Housing Institutions that are not government entities and are independently managed.
Whilst it was stated that the Department is still committed to alleviating the housing need amongst the most vulnerable and lower income group through its Breaking New Ground (BNG) programme, the MEC pointed out that it is unfortunately not in a position to provide free housing indefinitely. “We, therefore, continue to work closely with the banks and financial institutions with the view that carefully constructed packages that cater for the lower income brackets become available to more people,” he said.
MEC Madikizela also commented that the Department is presently in the process of reviewing its housing assistance programmes to ensure the underscoring elements, qualifying criteria and categories of allocation are relevant to the public’s demands. To that end, he urged people to contact their local housing offices in the event of any changes that may have occurred either in income status or contact details since joining the housing waiting list.
In his presentation on the affordable housing projects earmarked for the Mount Pleasant area, Overstrand Executive Deputy Mayor Dudley Coetzee advised that three hectares of land have been set aside in and along Swartdam Road and the R43. The development will incorporate the needs of both the lower and middle-income markets on a modular sliding scale. Plots ranging in size from 42m to 82m will be made available, as too houses built for a rental scheme. A proposal to this effect will be tabled before council on Wednesday, 25 October 2017.