Government launches revised housing scheme

The Department of Human Settlements has unveiled the revised government funded housing subsidy programme for middle-income earners.

Formerly known as the Financed Linked Individually Subsidy Programme (FLISP) or Help-Me-Buy-A-Home, which was meant to assist in making first-time home ownership affordable, the First Home Finance will now also cater for non-mortgage approved beneficiaries, who intend to build their own houses in rural areas and city serviced sites.

Depending on a monthly household income, government can fund a beneficiary up to R130 000 and eligible beneficiaries should earn between R3 501 and R22 000 per month.

Unveiling First Home Finance at the Sky City Housing Development in Ekurhuleni on Friday, Human Settlements Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi explained that the qualification criteria for First Home Finance have been revised to accommodate and assist with funding all qualifying South Africans who want to acquire their first homes.

“The revised programme also caters for beneficiaries who are not approved for home loans but intend to among other options, build their own houses in rural areas and cities’ serviced sites. The First Home Finance can assist beneficiaries that raise financial resources through various means such as cooperative and community-based saving schemes e.g. stokvels to apply for government financial assistance,” Kubayi said.

Kubayi challenged developers to increase affordable housing stock for the gap market and the previously excluded.

“If properly implemented, First Home Finance has a potential to significantly re-engineer the housing market by expanding to the previously excluded individuals/households. The housing gap market is on the increase and the supply both in terms of stock and finance has neither been sufficient nor accessible,” Kubayi said.

The Minister also cited a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and the National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC). The MOU seeks to assist government employees through First Home Finance to access home loans from financial institutions.

She added that First Home Finance scheme gives a property-ownership opportunity to those that “our mainstream financial system has excluded-with no chance of ever owning such properties”.

“It is estimated that over 200 000 public servants are eligible to acquire their first properties through First Home Finance. These people earn too much to qualify for fully subsidized government housing (BNG/RDP) and earn little to qualify for mortgage finance.

“To simplify the application process, the NHFC has also launched a new portal. This will enable the applicants to do applications in the comfort of their homes and at their leisure. Moreover, the new portal will also help applicants to track the progress of their applications,” the Minister said.

To apply for First Home Finance, potential beneficiaries are urged to visit where they will be directed to the application portal, or enquiries can also be directed to, or call 010 825 2199.

Source: South African Government News Agency