Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I apply for a housing subsidy?

You must correctly complete the application form, which must then be submitted to the relevant provincial housing department or municipality. The following documents, where applicable, must accompany the application form:

A certified copy of:

  • Bar-coded RSA identity document containing photograph of applicant and that of his/her spouse
  • Bar-coded Permanent Residence Permit containing the photograph of the applicant and that of his/her spouse
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Spouse’s death certificate (if applicable)
  • Divorce settlement (if applicable)
  • Birth certificates of all dependants (if applicable)
  • Most recent pay slip (applicant and spouse)
  1. What are the criteria for qualifying for a government housing subsidy?
  • First time property owner
  • Competent to contract i.e. over 21 years of age
  • South African citizen
  • Monthly household income not exceeding R3 500.00
  • Married or habitually cohabits with proven financial dependents
  • Not yet benefited from government funding
  1. What is the difference between Permission to Occupy, Title Deed and the Deed of Grant?

Permission to occupy: It is the form of tenure that is issued in communal type of land. It does not give the full ownership right, but only the right to occupy. It is not registered in the Register of Deeds. Title Deed: It is a document registered in a deeds registry by virtue whereof the mortgaged property is registered in the name of the mortgagor and includes a sectional title deed. Deed of Grant: It is the form of tenure that is issued in undeveloped piece of land. It contains full ownership right and is registered in the Register of Deeds.

  1. What are the reasons for not allowing the owner of a government subsidized house to sell it before 5 years has elapsed?

The government is aiming at ensuring that every South African has access to adequate and decent housing. Allowing beneficiaries to sell before 5 year period has elapsed defeats the purpose.

  1. Can a person who applied for a government housing subsidy but his/her application was rejected because she/he was earning more than R3 500.00 and later on finds him/herself unemployed. Can he/she at the stage where she/he is unemployed qualify for a government housing subsidy?

Yes, he/she will qualify on grounds that he provides sufficient evidence which is normally a letter from the previous employer and also proof of unemployment from the Department of Labour.

  1. Are there any financial and other kinds of contributions that the qualifying housing beneficiaries are required to contribute during construction and or/after they have occupied their houses, e.g. rates?

Yes, there are contributions, it may be financial or sweat equity but this does not apply to the indigents. Beneficiaries have to pay rates once they have taken occupation of their houses.

  1. What happens when all the occupiers of the government subsidised house die, who will be re-allocated the house in question or given the Title Deed on what grounds?

In the event of sale being successfully concluded, and registration of transfer has taken place, then the developer or the department has no further role to play. The matter has to be dealt with privately by the family of the deceased in terms of the law of succession.

  1. What are the requirements when transferring a site or a house of the deceased beneficiary of a government subsidised site or house and what type of documents need to be brought in to facilitate the transfer and who effects the change in ownership of the Title Deed?

In terms of the Procedure on Deceased Beneficiaries, if there is no Will in place, the procedure will be to look for the deceased beneficiary’s spouse or one of the dependents that is over 21 years of age. If there is no dependent who is over 21 years of age, the developer should arrange for an executor to be appointed through the Master of Supreme Court. The documents required to facilitate the transfer will normally be the deceased beneficiary’s death certificate, his I.D book and the I.D book of the person to whom the property is being transferred. The developer is responsible to affect the transfer.

  1. How can a person who was previously owning a property be assisted in the event of (i) Divorcing and forced to sell property or (ii) Unable to pay the bond?

Normally when a marriage is terminated the assets of the marriage arrangements are divided by mutual agreement or by order of the court. This implies that if you had a house you would have received a benefit from the property when marriage terminated. If for some reasons this is not the case and lost everything, the MEC may after investigation decide to give you a new subsidy should you qualify in all other respects.

  1. Does the government housing subsidy cater for foreigners in terms of the qualification criteria?

No foreigners are catered for in terms of the qualification criteria.

  1. Are non-residents of the area and/or ward where a housing project is to take place eligible to apply or benefit from the project not in their area and/or ward?

Beneficiaries are generally advised to put their applications for housing within their municipal areas. There is no specific rule or policy that prohibits beneficiaries from applying outside their areas.

  1. Is it possible to receive government subsidised houses on a site and/or where the beneficiary has an existing housing structure or they will be re-allocated?

Yes, in-situ upgrade projects exist where beneficiaries’ existing houses are demolished and new houses are built and infrastructure is installed.

  1. What is the size of a government subsidised house?

In terms of the national policy the minimum size is 40m². The Free State Province has determined the minimum size as 50m².

  1. If a person’s application for a government housing subsidy was approved in another area, can that same person qualify to be allocated another subsidised house when relocating to another area?

The applicant may withdraw his/her application and request to have his/her name removed from the data base to allow his/her application to be approved in another area. This procedure can be followed provided that payment has not yet been made and transfer of the property to the beneficiary has not been affected.

  1. Can a person who qualifies for a government subsidy be subsidised to complete his/her unfinished house?

No, in term of the policy, an applicant must not own property to qualify for government subsidy.

  1. Does the government housing subsidy provide subsidies to qualifying persons who are tenants in privately owned land?

The government does not approve funding for subsidised housing in a privately owned land, but will first negotiate with the owner to purchase land. A Land Availability Agreement will be signed between the land owner and the government before any housing development can commence.

  1. Why pensioners are not exempted from paying rates?

Payment of services is seen as a vital component of an overall strategy to stabilize the housing environment. However the bigger municipalities do have Indigent Policies that caters for the indigents.