A look at the R467,000 rent-to-own homes aiming to help solve South Africa’s housing crisis

The Mill Park Home Ownership Project in Bredasdorp, Cape Agulhas launched some six weeks ago as a pilot to provide a home ownership market for aspirant buyers in the area.

Affordable housing remains an issue for the ruling party, with News24 reporting that in Gauteng alone, the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements has a backlog of more than 1.2 million RDP housing applications that have been on the waiting list since 1996.

The MEC of Infrastructure Tertuis Simmers, conducted a sod-turning ceremony for the 106 unit affordable housing project in June.  The project is aimed at assisting aspirant first-time homeowners, through either a home loan or a Help Me Buy A Home (FLISP) subsidy.

The property has two bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen and measures 43 square metres.

“A first of its kind, the Deferred Ownership (rent to own) structure was launched through this project,” said the Western Cape Government.

“To date, the project already has eight (8) buyers pre-approved through sale, home loan and Help Me Buy A Home subsidy. The Deferred Ownership project has five (5) pre-approved applicants, an indication that this structure will certainly assist many residents to access the property market,” it said.

The Rent to Own qualifying applicants will be able to rent their future home for a period of six to 24 months. This is combined with consumer housing education and financial literacy. The Help Me Buy A Home subsidy and 24 months’ deposit savings will be deducted from the purchase price as a price reduction mechanism after the 24 months rental period, the local government said.

“The project is proving to be the catalyst we anticipated. The show house is nearly completed, and we will be unveiling it in due course to the public. The department has been inundated with enquiries and I am certainly delighted that some of these have been converted into applications and pre-approved sales,” said Simmers.

The qualifying criteria for the Mill Park Deferred Ownership /Rent to Buy Project, include:

  • Applicants need to reside in Bredasdorp or the broader Cape Agulhas Municipal Area;
  • Earn between R 3,501 to R 22,000 gross combined income per month;
  • Have not previously owned property;
  • Have not previously received a government housing subsidy;
  • Must be a South African citizen or have a permanent residency; and
  • Be married, cohabitating or have a financial dependent.

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