Affordable housing, social housing, gap housing - how it works

Affordable housing, social housing and gap housing - those terms are often mind-boggling industry jargon.

Who qualifies and what kind of income must a household earn in order to get a grant or a house or a subsidy?

Anthea Houston, CEO – Communicare, explains.

It is a non-profit social enterprise. We have a property portfolio of about 38 properties in Cape Town which is servicing the social housing and affordable housing markets. Our organisation started in the 1920s, formed to respond to a housing crisis but focusing on the white population. Back then we had help from the city council who encouraged social workers to start the organisation. Slowly we accessed land - we also took advantage of government programs where there may have been some grants available.

Anthea Houston, CEO – Communicare

Affordable, social and gap housing - those terms are industry jargon. Gap housing is perhaps easiest to explain. Our government in South Africa has quite a unique housing delivery programme. They make capital grants available for the delivery of housing to people who are poor. Typically they target households with income below seven- and- a- half -thousand rand but some do go up as high as 15-thousand rand. Banks - when they lend money, they start at the 15-thousand cut-off. They start much higher. It's a very small number of households with incomes as low as 15-thousand per month who can access a bond.

Anthea Houston, CEO – Communicare
A Housing Project in Atlantis. Photo: EWN

Listen to the entire explanation of how to differentiate between the different kinds of housing grants, below.

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