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In the news 2012

Lower-middle class gets housing assistance

Sithandiwe Velaphi | www.thenewage.co.za | 9 November 2012

The provincial department of human settlements in the Eastern Cape said it had approved the first five beneficiaries of the much anticipated Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme.

The programme was announced by President Jacob Zuma in his state of the nation address earlier this year.

Zuma's announcement was in response to an email written by Mzukisi Mali, a public servant from Grahamstown.

"In 1994 my income was too high to get an RDP house and too low to get a bond. I have three children and my wife is not working. When I apply for an RDP house I am told that I do not qualify and cannot get a bond because I am risky to the banks," read Mali's email.

"People earning between R3500 and R15000 will be able to obtain a subsidy of up to R83000 from the provinces, to enable them to obtain housing finance from an accredited bank," Zuma assured Mali in February.

Human settlements provincial spokesperson Lwandile Sicwetsha said the process had already begun in the Nelson Mandela metro.

"The new programme is aimed at assisting unqualifying citizens on the RDP programme to buy their own homes. Five beneficiaries have already been approved and more than 50 applications are being processed by the National Housing Finance Corporation," Sicwetsha said.

"The department will approve R87 000 for every qualifying citizen earning between R3 500 to R15 000 a month to buy new homes in the province through banks."

"The programme reduces the amount of the loan required from the bank, thus rendering the monthly loan repayment instalments more affordable over the repayment term," said Sicwetsha.

Mali said this week: "There is still no clear direction in addressing the issue of housing for the middle class. I have the information, the only thing I want now is a house."

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