The City of Cape Town’s Human Settlements Directorate held a verification drive in Delft yesterday, 5 October 2021, to advise applicants about the selection criteria for its State-subsidised housing projects.

The city also used the opportunity to encourage qualifying residents to update their details on the Housing Needs Register. Up to date details prevent opportunities from being missed. The City’s Register ensures that only legally registered beneficiaries can get State-assisted accommodation, according to the Allocation Policy. It is based on first come, first served, and takes age and special needs into consideration.

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi, says

“Unfortunately, the drive was cut short after being disrupted by a small group of community members, however we managed to reach hundreds of interested residents. It is important for our residents to be informed about the selection criteria for our projects and the city condemns actions that take away the opportunity to empower residents through knowledge.

“Residents need to register on the City’s Housing Needs Register so they may be considered for housing opportunities, which become available. The system is highly regulated to ensure there is fairness and a systematic approach as the need for affordable housing in South Africa is pronounced.

“The principal challenge regarding the Register is that applicants do not keep their details updated. It is important for applicants to keep their details, including their address and cell phone number, up to date so that the city can contact them when they qualify. They should ensure that their identity number, marital status, residential address, contact details, household income and whether someone in their household suffers from a permanent disability, remains accurate.

“Failure to update details may result in beneficiaries either not being selected for a housing opportunity or not being contacted when they are selected.

“Beneficiaries of all City housing projects are allocated in accordance with the City’s Allocation Policy and Register to ensure that housing opportunities are provided to qualifying applicants in a fair, transparent and equal manner, and to prevent queue-jumping,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi.

How selection for opportunities works:

  • Applicants considered for rental opportunities may reside anywhere within the metro and have an option of indicating their areas of preference, including the unit type and size. These applicants are contacted based on their areas of preference, unit type and based on the date on which they applied. Currently, only rental units that are vacated are re-allocated to applicants on the City’s Register.
  • On the other hand, applicants considered for Breaking New Ground (BNG) opportunities are selected in terms of their area of residence as provided to the City, and in line with the approved Allocation Request Form. This form specifies the percentage of applicants selected for consideration per source area and as well as the percentage of applicants on the Register who live outside of the specific source area.

“There is no specific timeframe which residents must wait before they may be allocated a housing opportunity as it depends on the availability of housing opportunities and whether applicants qualify when the opportunities do become available. It is important to remember that all housing projects have different dynamics in terms of the size of the project, the number of applicants who may qualify and the application date range for that project. Applicants will be selected for housing opportunities based on the date that they registered on the Register. The cut-off date reached in the source areas selected for a project depends on the project size and applicants are considered in date order.

“The Register is a fair system, which objectively determines who gets an opportunity. The city remains committed to providing homes to residents in well-located areas close to public transport, jobs, government services and public amenities. We are working to find ways to resolve the challenges of housing provision, amid national budget cuts and the demand for affordable accommodation due to the poor state of the national economy. The city cannot solve the housing challenge on its own. We are looking at new, innovative ways to address the housing need and we need greater partnerships,’ said Councillor Booi.

Each housing project invites applicants within the agreed date range from the following three categories to apply for the specific project:

  • Applicants who reside within the target area (the areas near or surrounding the planned housing development)
  • Applicants who have been on the housing database the longest outside of the target area
  • Applicants with special needs

In order to meet the criteria to register, applicants need to:

  • be a South African citizen or permanent resident of South Africa
  • be over 18 years old
  • be married or be a co-habiting partner, or else have dependants (This does not apply to applicants over the age of 60 or who have disabilities.)
  • have a combined income of less than R3 500 per month to qualify for state subsidised housing
  • have never owned a property before
  • be competent to contract
  • have never benefitted from a government housing subsidy before

Housing Needs Register:

Unlawful occupation: Anonymous tip-offs welcomed:

Residents can give anonymous tip offs if they are aware of illegal activity that is taking place; that has happened or is still to happen. Please call 112 from a cell phone (toll free) and 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 for emergencies.