Houses for low earners

Mziwonke Dlabantu. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. 11/09/07. © Sowetan.
Mziwonke Dlabantu. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. 11/09/07. © Sowetan.

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

Low-cost housing was given a shot in the arm yesterday when one of the big four banks announced its intention to help finance housing for low-income earners.

Absa, the biggest retail bank in the country, signed a R390 million loan agreement with the French Development Agency to help customers buy affordable homes.

The agency is a French government institution set up to provide developmental financing especially in rural and urban infrastructural development.

The loan will be used to help home-buyers with a combined income of less than R7500 a household to get finance that they could not access before.

Government has been building low-cost houses, although they were of a much lesser value.

"The houses will cost between R80000 and R250000, and customers who qualify will be able to get financing to purchase the houses," said Absa's executive Gavin Opperman.

The department of housing's deputy director-general Mziwakhe Dlabantu, pictured, said the agreement will be to the advantage of low earners to access houses. He said the agreement was within the national housing initiative.

"The deal will ease pressure on the present low-cost housing in that those who fall in a higher bracket, compared to the government's present subsidy programme, will have roofs over their heads for the first time," he said.