Individual Housing Subsidy | Western Cape Government

Individual Housing Subsidy

We all know that buying a home is a big investment, and one of the best financial decisions you can make. However it requires careful and long term planning. Getting your foot in the housing market is not easy.
Even though we cut down on the luxuries and other non-essentials, you can still run into challenges.

This is why the Western Cape Government is making housing subsidies available to low-income applicants who want to buy residential property for the first time.


Who can apply for an Individual Housing Subsidy?

You qualify for a housing subsidy if all of the following criteria apply to you:

  • You must have been on the Municipal Housing Demand Database (HDD) for a period of 10 years in the Metro and 5 years for non-Metro areas. (Proof of registration required.)
  • You are married or living with a long-term partner / or you are single or divorced with financial dependents.
  • You are a South African citizen or you have a permanent resident's permit.
  • You are over 18 years of age or if under 18, married or divorced, or with others who are financially dependent and permanently reside with you.
  • Your monthly household income of applicant or partner before deductions is less than R3 500.
  • You or your partner have never received a subsidy from the government.
  • You or your partner have never owned property or in exceptional cases where you bought land 
  • You and your family will live on the property bought with the subsidy.

If you answer "yes" to all these questions, then you are probably eligible for a housing subsidy. Single people without financial dependants – such as the senior citizens, disabled people, etc. can also apply.

Note: You can't apply for a housing subsidy if you have received a subsidy or housing assistance from the government before. But you can get a subsidy if you received a land grant or purchased a site.

A housing subsidy can be used to:

  • Buy an existing house.

How much is a Individual Housing Subsidy worth?

  • If your monthly household income is less than R3 500, you qualify for a subsidy of R168 853Note: You don't have to repay this subsidy as it isn't a loan.
  • If you can prove that you are disabled or in permanent bad health, you qualify for a housing subsidy of R168 853, plus a set disability variance amount to pay for the cost of any extra features your house may need, for example, a ramp for wheelchair access. However, your household income needs to be less than R3 500 a month.

How do I apply for a Individual Housing Subsidy ?


There are two kinds housing subsidies, based on whether you can pay your contribution to the house out of your savings, or if you need to borrow money to pay for it.

  1. A non-credit-linked individual subsidy is what you get if you can pay your contribution, in full, out of your pocket. To apply for a non-finance-linked subsidy, you will need to fill out an application form at the Department of Human Settlements, or contact / visit your local municipal offices.
  2. A credit-linked individual subsidy is what you get if you can't afford to pay your contribution, in full, out of your savings and need to do so using a loan from a bank or some other financial institution. You will need to be pre-approved for credit with an approved financial institution before you can apply for a finance-linked subsidy at the Department of Human Settlements or at your local municipal offices.

What documents will I need to apply?
You will need:
  • Proof of registration on the municipal housing demand database (waiting list) (e.g. City of Cape Town).
  • A certified copy of you and your partner’s official South African ID book or card.
  • The certified birth certificates of people who rely on your income (such as children or grandchildren). See Applying for a Birth Certificate if you have lost their birth certificates.
    Note: You will be asked to provide the ID numbers of your financial dependents. A certified copy of your Permanent Residency Permit if you are not a South African citizen, plus those of your partner or spouse and dependents.
  • A certified copy of your marriage certificate, if you are married.
  • A certified copy of your divorce decree, if you are divorced with financial dependents.
  • An original recent payslip as proof of income. If you are unemployed, an affidavit confirming your unemployment is required.
  • If you are applying for a non-credit-linked individual subsidy, you will also need:
    • To supply a certified copy of the signed agreement of sale for the property.
    • Be sure to make the sale conditional to you receiving a housing subsidy as well as a certified copy of the seller's title deed.
  • If you are applying for a credit-linked individual subsidy, you will also need:
    • To supply a certified copy of the signed agreement of sale for the property.
    • Be sure to make the sale conditional on you receiving a government housing subsidy as well as a house bond.
    • You will also need to provide proof that the house bond has been approved.

Note: If the Western Cape Government has previously subsidised the property you are buying, you will need to provide an affidavit stating whether you are related to the seller.

How is the housing subsidy paid out?

If your application is successful, you will receive this subsidy only once. It isn't a cash pay-out, but is paid directly to:

  • The financial institution from which you are receiving a housing bond or a conveyancing attorney (in the case of credit-linked individual subsidies).
  • The seller (in the case of non-credit-linked individual subsidies).

To prevent fraud, in cases where a homebuyer has to make a contribution to the cost of a house, the buyer will need to pay this contribution in full before the subsidy is paid out.

Will I have to pay anything back?

The housing subsidy is not a loan and you do not need to pay it back.

However, if you have a credit-linked individual subsidy, you will have to pay back your loan to the financial institution that gave it to you.

Download application forms?

Who do I contact to check the status of my subsidy application?

You can call or e-mail the Helpdesk for more help or details regarding the status of your subsidy application.

Where can I find more information?

You can visit the Department of Human Settlements at 27 Wale Street, Cape Town or call the helpdesk on 021 483 6488 /3112 /0611 /8984 /0623 (Mondays to Fridays from 07:30 - 15:00).

You can also e-mail for more information.

Provided by:
Government Body: (Western Cape Government)
The content on this page was last updated on 10 February 2021