On Thursday, 18 November 2020, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi, and other dignitaries, visited Atlantis to receive an update on housing opportunities in the area. The City’s projects, which include Gap serviced sites and Breaking New Ground (BNG) State-subsidised houses, are expected to provide opportunities to more than 3 600 qualifying beneficiaries, if all goes according to plan.
Gap market plots
The City has made available 69 serviced sites out of a potential 650 sites in total in the Robinvale area of Atlantis for Gap housing opportunities. The plots range between 160 m2 to 270 m2 in size. This aims to empower qualifying beneficiaries as property owners, whose monthly income exceeds the threshold for State-subsidised assistance but not necessarily enough to participate in the private property market. They thus fall in the gap market. This is the first phase of these sites being made available and additional serviced sites will become available in due course.
It is a firm signal from the City of its intended direction over the coming years in helping to address the need for affordable housing faster, on a larger scale and in a cost effective manner.
Applications for the Gap market plots project can be submitted at the City’s Wesfleur Office, Atlantis from March 2021.
- Residents who are registered on the City’s Housing Needs Register, who have not previously benefited from a government subsidy and have a monthly income of between R3 501 and R22 000, among other criteria, will qualify for these opportunities.
- Residents who meet the criteria will have the opportunity to apply to purchase the residential serviced plots at discounted market value rates.
- Beneficiaries also must not have owned property previously, must be able to obtain an approved housing loan or bond from a commercial bank, and qualify for a Finance Linked Housing Subsidy (FLISP) with the Western Cape Government for the construction of the house.
- Current City or social housing tenants, as well as single individuals with financial dependants, who meet the criteria, may also apply.
- It is important for the City’s Human Settlements Directorate to ensure that the sale price of the properties are affordable to the beneficiaries. For this reason, the purchase prices will be based on a sliding scale of discounted rates, depending on the qualifying beneficiary’s monthly income.
- The sale will be secured once a bank loan is approved and the full payment is made to the transferring attorney within six months of signing the deed of sale.
‘Members of the public who are interested in applying for these Gap market plots must register on the City’s Housing Needs Register and indicate their interest in this particular project. They will be assigned a specific code in this regard. Those who are already registered on the Housing Needs Register and are interested in a Gap market plot in Atlantis must update their status so they can also be assigned the code. Members of the public can phone the Call Centre on 021 444 0333, send a message via WhatsApp to 063 299 9927 or visit the Wesfleur Housing office. Please note that actual applications will commence in March 2021. In the meantime members of the public must prepare themselves by cleaning up their credit profiles and preparing the necessary paperwork.
‘For the Gap housing plots beyond the first 69, the City intends to partner with local property developers to assist in sourcing qualifying beneficiaries, preparing their finance applications and building housing units for them. More details concerning this will be shared at the housing open day on 25 November 2020 in Atlantis.
‘To assist this specific target income group with getting a foot in the property market, the City will make these well-located plots of land, in a sought-after area of Atlantis, available at discounted rates to qualifying beneficiaries, with the help of a commercial bank loan and the FLISP subsidy.
‘Furthermore, the deed of sale will include conditions that no informal dwellings can be built on the property and that the property cannot be sold within the first five years, from the date of purchase from the City.
‘The City is very aware of the acute need for housing opportunities across the metro. We know that just one type of housing will not address this need. This is why we are exploring other types of opportunities, like these Gap serviced sites, in addition to our usual provision of State-subsidised BNG houses, like the ones we can see currently under way in our Kanonkop project,’ said Councillor Booi.
The City has a number of housing projects at various stages in the Atlantis area. These include:
|Kanonkop Phase 1||455 BNG opportunities||Under construction|
|Kanonkop Phase 2||1 870 BNG opportunities||Planning stage|
|Robinvale, Beacon Hill and Saxonsea Gap market plots||650 Gap opportunities||Planning stage|
|Protea Park Gap market plots||650 Gap opportunities||Planning stage|
‘We are looking at all options to see how we can enable the delivery of housing opportunities to our beneficiaries on a larger scale through greater innovation and private public partnerships. Our draft Human Settlements Strategy which is currently out for public participation until the end of this month proposes a number of interventions. This approach of large-scale site and service development aligns fully with this strategy.
‘We recognise the growing need for housing opportunities for individuals who fall in-between the gap, where they earn too much to receive a State-subsidised home but too little to participate in the private property market, given the increasing property prices.
‘Owning properties, like in our Gap and BNG projects, will give our beneficiaries and their families a sense of security and it will become a financial asset. Going forward, the City aims to make more suitable land available in different areas across Cape Town to qualifying beneficiaries to purchase for Gap housing opportunities. Residents are reminded that there are various Gap housing projects in different areas, not only in Atlantis,’ said Councillor Booi.