On 25 March, the minister of human settlements, Mmamoloko Kubyi, announced the reconfiguration and settlement priorities for 2022/23.

Reconfiguration of the human settlements’ development grant

The HSDG has been reconfigured to allow for the delivery of bulk infrastructure which has been increased from 3% to 5%. This allocation can be increased up to 30%, particularly in rural areas/towns. This change is aimed at ensuring that human settlements projects are completed on time and that housing units are handed over to the beneficiaries.

Human settlement priorities for 2022/23

  • Unblocking of blocked projects – identify strategic partners that could assist to unblock challenges.
  • Eliminating asbestos roofs across provinces, which is a critical health issue.
  • Increasing the pace of provision of title deeds to rightful property owners, prioritising the pre-1994 stock.
  • Eliminating (dilapidated) mud houses, especially in the rural areas (prioritising the elderly and child-headed households).
  • Digitisation of the beneficiary list to make it more reliable, transparent, easily accessible and avoid fraud and corruption.

Social housing qualification criteria

The income bands have been revised to accommodate households earning a gross monthly income from R1 850 to R22 000. Initially the Social Housing Programme only catered for households with an income of R1 500 to R15 000.

Finance-linked individual subsidy programme

FLISP is a housing subsidy for first-time home buyers to assist them with purchasing a house. With effect from the 2022/23 financial year, FLISP will also extend to non-mortgage housing finance facilities.

FLISP may be used in combination with one of the following products and situations:

  • Housing loans granted or guaranteed by a pension and provident fund.
  • Unsecured housing loans from any registered lender.
  • Housing loans granted or guaranteed by a cooperative- or community-based savings scheme.
  • FLISP can be used in combination with individual own resources or savings.
  • Housing loans supported by employer-based schemes such as the Government Employees Housing Scheme or private sector Employer Assisted Housing Schemes (EAHS).
  • Housing loans supported by Permission-to-Occupy (PTO) issued by the government or a recognised traditional authority.
  • With effect from 1 April 2022, the FLISP quantum range increases by between 7,2% and 10%. This change will go a long way in enhancing the affordability of home loans, as households will be able to put in higher deposits for their home loans or cover other housing acquisition or building costs permissible in the policy.

Response to disasters

Provincial departments and municipalities have been given a 24-hour turnaround period for the assessments of a disaster and the fast-tracking of repairs through a voucher system. Provinces and metros are now allowed to utilise available funds from HSDG, USDG and ISUPG to deal with disasters.

Full acknowledgement and thanks go to https://www.shra.org.za for the information in this editorial.

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