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Human settlement department allocates R10bn to upgrade informal settlements

Residents of informal settlements might soon be smiling after government set aside R10-billion to upgrade their units.
Residents of informal settlements might soon be smiling after government set aside R10-billion to upgrade their units.

Government has allocated R10bn to upgrade informal settlements across the country over the next three years.

This was announced by human settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu in the National Assembly during her budget vote for the 2021/2022 financial year.

Sisulu said the department wants to upgrade 679 informal settlements across the country this year.

More than half of these settlements are based in country’s big metros.  

Sisulu told parliament that the Social Housing Regulatory Authority will start disbursing R300m of the R600m rental relief , as soon as all the necessary checks and balances are in place.

The first phase will target tenants in the social housing market and these are people living in government’s rental housing stock who were negatively impacted by the pandemic.

First-time home buyers will also get a boost through the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (Flisp) as government wants to take advantage of low interest rates.

“The implementation of Flisp will be prioritised for those first-time home buyers whose monthly household income is from R3,501 to R22,000 and must have been approved for a home loan by an accredited banking institution or a non-bank financial institution.

“This once-off financial assistance for qualifying beneficiaries ranges from R27,960 to R121,626, depending on the level of household income,” Sisulu said.

In the 2020/2021 financial year, the National Housing Finance Corporation received 2,815 Flisp applications. Of these, 2,120 were approved with a total value of R111m.

Sisulu also announced that a partnership arrangement has been made with the department of public service and administration for qualifying government employees to access Flisp subsidies.

“We are also restructuring partnerships with major employers to implement employees assisted housing, a programme through which employers can assist their employees with the cost of owning a house or acquiring a residential stand,” Sisulu said.

About R461m has been set aside for this financial year to meet the demand of households who are accessing home loans. This is expected to benefit 7,600 qualifying beneficiaries. 

The department is also working with other spheres of government to  identify well located state-owned land and property to be acquired for development.

In this initiative, Eskom has released two well-located buildings in Kimberly, Northern Cape,   and Johannesburg to be developed for social and rental housing.

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