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Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says the recently launched Finance Link Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP), aimed at assisting persons earning between R3 501 and R22 000 to access home loans, has the potential to change the face of South Africa for low income earners.

The Minister said this when she tabled the department’s budget vote during a mini plenary of the National Assembly on Tuesday.

“We have now launched this project through the Housing Bank for those persons earning between R3 501 and R22 000.

“Those persons qualifying are urged to approach the bank for loans. The type of houses that we are able to finance through this programme have the potential to change the face of the country, especially for the low income earners.

“The bank will do this by mobilising a wide range of funding and providing bonds for what would normally have been the un-bankable sector,” she said.

Sisulu said the Human Settlements Development Bank (HSDB) has been established and its role is to assist first time buyers and working-class people to purchase their own houses.

“We look towards the Housing Bank to play a central role in accelerating delivery of catalytic or mixed-income housing projects, affordable rental stock (otherwise called social housing) and possibly student accommodation.

“The bank will therefore be the key and central funding institution for the human settlements development sector and the market,” she said.

By mobilising a wide range of funding, including banking and non-banking funding sources, the bank will leverage grant funding from various fiscal grant allocations to attract other sources of funding.

The Minister said this will create the necessary funding scale needed to undertake these large projects.

More than 1 000 informal settlements planned for upgrading

In the 2020 budget statement, Sisulu announced that the department would allocate R4.6 billion for provinces and metros to upgrade informal settlements.

This year, there are 679 informal settlements planned for upgrading by the provinces and 344 informal settlements targeted by metropolitan municipalities.

“We’ll monitor the progress very closely and as has become practice, if the money is not used by the third quarter, it will be re-allocated.

“Over the next three years, about R10 billion has been ring-fenced to accelerate the upgrading of informal settlements countrywide.

“The rapid growth of informal settlements in all major cities and towns, which I reflected on earlier have necessitated a review of funding frameworks.

“The Department has created a dedicated Upgrading of Informal Settlements Grant Funding Framework exclusively set-up to address adequately the upgrading of this challenge in our country,” she said.

SAnews.gov.za

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