24 Jan 2012
South African citizens over the age of 21 with a total household income of less than R3 500 per month can apply for an RDP house.
Property24 readers posed questions ranging from how to buy an RDP house to what happens to the house when a couple divorce.
We asked Xolani Xundu from the Department of Human Settlements to respond to reader questions:
Give us a guide on how to own an RDP house?
People applying for an RDP house should:
- be a South African citizen
- over 21 years of age
- must have a total household income of less than R3 500 per month
- must be married or live with a partner or be single and have dependents (children you are responsible for)
- must never have owned a house or a property anywhere in South Africa
- applicants will only ever get one housing subsidy (except for consolidation subsidy) so they must use it wisely
- the names of both partners are then added onto a database. If they separate from their partner whose name appears in the database, they will not be granted another subsidy with a new partner
- applications can be done at all local housing departments and they will be added on the housing waiting list. Applicants will be notified when their house is ready.
- RDP houses are not for sale, they are free.
- anyone who wants to extend or renovate their RDP house before eight years of ownership must get permission to do so from their local municipality
Do you give special treatment to disabled applicants?
Yes we do. When housing projects are designed by provinces and municipalities, the specific needs of disabled persons are recorded and specific houses are then constructed for these beneficiaries.
The nature of the persons’ disabilities will dictate what improvements will be effected to their houses.
For example, if the beneficiary or a family member of the beneficiary is wheel chair bound, then the house will receive special ramps to access points of the dwelling, special kick plates to doors and grab handles in the bathroom.
In addition, where a beneficiary buys an existing house and has disabilities that require special measures the subsidy amount will be enhanced to make funds available for the adjustment of the dwelling.
What happens when a married couple gets an RDP house and then they divorce?
When married beneficiaries divorce, the divorce order of the Court will determine what will happen to the RDP house they received.
Normally the Court will award the house to the woman and the property is then transferred into her name.
But the parties could agree in the divorce settlement to dispose of the house and to share the amount they receive from the sale transaction.
However, all subsidy houses are subject to an eight year sale restriction provision and the Provincial Government may decide to take the property back without any compensation and the beneficiaries may then re-apply for a subsidy house if they satisfy the qualification criteria.
Xundu adds that applicants who want more information or to check how far they are on the waiting list, can contact the national department hotline on 0800 1(house)/46873
Denise MhlangaProperty journalist at property24.com
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