Cape Town - Over the past three weeks, the City’s Human Settlements Directorate’s Call Centre has fielded more than 1 022 calls and received more than 511 WhatsApp messages relating to the City’s call to take up affordable housing opportunities in Fairdale, Blue Downs.
This follows Council’s recent approval for the transfer of the 219 residential serviced plots in Blue Downs for Gap housing opportunities at discounted market value rates to qualifying beneficiaries.
"It has been encouraging to see the growing interest from members of the public in the City’s initiative to avail these well-located plots in a sought-after area in Blue Downs. These properties have been offered at a discounted market value rate to qualifying beneficiaries who are up for the adventure of building their own homes with the help of a commercial bank loan and the Finance Linked Housing Subsidy (FLISP).
"For this reason, I decided to visit the call centre today. It was great to engage with members of the public telephonically and with City staff to get first-hand experience about the queries that are coming in regarding this project," Mayco Member for Human Settlements, Malusi Booi said.
"Residents are reminded and encouraged to apply for this opportunity if they are registered on the City’s Housing Database, have not previously benefited from a government subsidy and have a monthly income of between R9 000 and R22 000, among other criteria.
"The aim of this initiative is to afford this specific target group the opportunity with getting a foot in the property market. This is because the City recognises the growing need for housing opportunities for individuals who earn too much to receive a State-subsidised home but too little to participate fully in the private property industry, given the increasing property prices," said Booi.
Beneficiaries only qualify if they have not previously owned a property.
They must be able to obtain an approved housing loan or bond from a commercial bank and qualify for the FLISP with the Western Cape Government for the house.
Current City or social housing tenants, as well as single individuals with financial dependents, who meet the criteria, can also apply.
Furthermore, the City currently provides various housing opportunities, according to specific target income groups, as prescribed by applicable legislation, including free State-subsidised Breaking New Ground houses as well as social housing and land restitution projects.
The plots range between 160 m2 and 350 m2 in size and are valued at approximately R105 000 (excluding VAT). The market value was determined by the City’s valuers.
"It was important for the City’s Human Settlements Directorate to ensure that the sale price of the properties was affordable to the beneficiaries. For this reason, the purchase prices will be based on a sliding scale of discounted rates, depending on the qualifying beneficiary’s monthly income. This means that properties could be sold to the beneficiaries for between approximately R25 000 and R63 000.
"The sale will be secured once a bank loan is approved and the full payment is made to the transferring attorney within six months of signing the deed of sale," Booi said.
"Furthermore, the deed of sale will include conditions that no informal dwellings can be built on the property and that the property cannot be sold within the first five years, from the date that it is purchased from the City."
All legal processes for the transfer of these properties for gap housing purposes, including public participation, have been followed.
"‘Owning property will give the beneficiary and their family a sense of security and it will become a financial asset. We therefore encourage beneficiaries who meet the criteria to apply should they be interested in this opportunity to own a plot of land and build their home.
"Going forward, the City aims to make more land available in different areas across Cape Town to qualifying beneficiaries to purchase for Gap housing opportunities. Residents are reminded that there are various Gap housing projects in different areas, including projects with completed houses, not only vacant land," said Booi.
Application forms may be collected and returned with applicable documentation at the following housing offices:
Kuils River Municipal Offices, corner of Carinus Street and Van Riebeeck Road
City Housing Kiosk, Concourse Level, Cape Town Civic Centre, Hertzog Boulevard