R15m allocated to subsidy programme for ‘gap’ houses in Durban
Flisp was all the talk after new housing developments in Phoenix were posted by the eThekwini municipality human settlements and infrastructure committee chairperson, Thanduxolo Sabelo, on Facebook last month.
However, an eThekwini councillor has disputed Sabelo’s posts, saying clarity was needed.
Flisp is aimed at people who earn between R3501 and R22000, do not qualify for a reconstruction and development programme house, and cannot afford their own bond.
KZN Human Settlements spokesperson Mbulelo Baloyi said Flisp was housing assistance to those who fell into that gap and wanted to own a house. He said once one found a house, they went to the department and, based on their earnings, the department provided a subsidy which they did not have to pay back and they took that to the bank when applying for a bond.
“The process doesn’t take that long, because the money is already available,” Baloyi said. “We’re promoting home ownership.”
Sabelo felt the municipality was capitalising on gap housing under Flisp. “There are a lot of these programmes. Some come as flats or blocks of apartments, and people apply for that programme and they benefit through it,” he said.
“People are really interested in these but there will be more developments. We have a development that will be coming to Bridge City, one in Illovo, another in Phoenix and there will be one in the CBD.”
He said although the housing was built by a private developer, the city provided land and assisted with services requiring engineering. The city also assisted the developer in ensuring the project became a success, achieved the required number of sold units and regulated the selling price.
Sabelo agreed that many people did not know about the programme, which was led by the provincial Department of Human Settlements and all applications went through it.
The councillor said it was not a municipal housing project. “They first sell you the house plans before you get on to the list or get the house.”
Information on Flisp can be found on the department’s website.