19 June 2017

South Africa: Adjustments to Social Housing Programme Approved

Pretoria — The Social Housing Programme has been adjusted to accommodate low-income earners.

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu together with the Provincial Members of the Executive Council (MinMec) of Human Settlements have approved adjustments to the Social Housing Programme.

This comes after the launch of one of the country's biggest social housing projects, the Westgate Social Housing Project in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, by President Jacob Zuma, in April.

The MinMec-approved adjustments include the shift in income bands which raises the lower qualifying household income limit for the primary market from R3 500 to R5 500 per month and the upper qualifying household income limit from R7 500 to R15 000 per month.

The MinMec also approved an increase in the Restructuring Capital Grant from R125 615 per unit to R155 000 per unit and consolidation of the Community Residential Unit/Hostel with social housing.

Minister Sisulu said the adjustments ensure that the social housing programme continues its focus on including the primary target market in well-located projects, so that the poor are integrated into cities.

"These adjustments also ensure that more young professionals or gap market will now benefit from government rental subsidized housing and for developers it means they have more funds to provide spacious and decent rental stock," said Minister Sisulu.

The Minister added that due to the inflation over the years, the social housing programme was no longer able to grow, and "with these adjustments, production of units will grow resulting in increased performance by the sector".

The adjustments will also help bring in the required revenue from families in the gap market, while continuing to accommodate families on the lower end of the income ladder.

"We will continue to work hard in ensuring that we reach out to all our housing beneficiaries particularly, the low income earners and the gap market by providing housing opportunities close to transport, places of work and economic activities," Minister Sisulu said.

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