Upward adjustment of Human Settlement budget a boost for affordable housing
The Western Cape Department of Human Settlements’ (WCDoHS) budget for the 2021/22 financial year has been adjusted upwards by R 57, 088 million. This means our overall budget increases from R 2, 353 billion to R 2, 410 billion.
The adjusted budget was tabled in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament this past week.
This is welcoming, particularly since it will go a long way in ensuring that more affordable housing opportunities are created. The lion’s share of the additional allocation, i.e. R 49,588m will go towards one of our priorities, namely Affordable Housing. This will ensure that approximately 1 000 FLISP applications can be assisted.
In my 2021/22 budget speech, earlier this year, I announced that we will re-invest in the affordable housing market by utilising funds generated through the selling of houses and sites constructed from the Human Settlement Development Grant (HSDG).
This is making us less dependent on the grant in future, which is quite significant and forward thinking.
From the R 49, 588 million, R 900 000 is allocated to the Garden Route District Municipality for an affordable housing project within the George Central Business District. This is the first of its kind.
R 48,688m is allocated to Affordable housing projects done by the WCDoHS in the Cape Metro. In this financial year, R 40m has already been generated through the selling of units in these projects. This will again be invested in more affordable housing projects in the 2022/23 financial year.
This is also beneficial to municipalities, as those who acquire a house also pay for services, which means there’s a steady income for the local authorities.
The budget also sees the shifting of R 500 000 to Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP) to assist municipalities in conducting housing market studies which are needed for preparation of municipal inclusionary housing policies.
Further to this, R 8million will be used as security cost against further invasions. This is rather unfortunate, as these funds could’ve been used to unlock the creation of more housing opportunities. The funds were shifted from CapeNature and the DEADP, comprising of R 4m each.
We are also shifting R15,5m to transfers to municipalities:
• R12,4 million for Title deeds restoration programme in the City of Cape Town (CoCT),
• R1,5 million as a final contribution to the CoCT for the Redhill informal settlement rental agreement with the owner of the land,
• R800 000 to Saldanha Bay Municipality for the development of their integrated housing plan,
• R600 000 to George Municipality for the development of their integrated housing plan, and
• R200 000 to Stellenbosch Municipality to do an assessment of the housing stock that is being devolved to the municipality.
Through this adjusted budget, the Western Cape Government is clearly demonstrating that it remains committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society.