Answer to a question from a reader

Can disabled people get RDP houses?

The short answer

Yes, the municipality is supposed to give preference to a disabled person applying for an RDP house.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

Three months after my sister had her baby in 2002, she lost her ability to walk. I was still in high school. Two years later, our mother passed away and I had to take care of my sister and her son, who is partially deaf. My sister had to be moved from shelter to shelter and her son had to live in a children's home. He just finished his matric and is now looking after his mom. His other siblings are still at the shelter. 

I'm looking for a suitable place for my sister and her children. I asked our ward councillor if my mother had an RDP house because she used to attend the RDP meetings. He said to go to Human Settlements in New Germany but I couldn't find the office. 

What can I do to help my sister? Can I apply for a loan or should I go to the municipality? Does the municipality consider disabled people for RDP houses?

The long answer

The municipality is supposed to assist you. If you get no help from them, you can complain to the Housing MEC for KwaZulu-Natal at this number:

Housing Enquiries Hotline: 0800 146 873

KwaZulu Natal: 033 392 6400 or 033 3365300

1. In terms of an RDP house application, I have copied the following information from a GroundUp article below:

To qualify for an RDP house you must meet the National Housing Subsidy Scheme criteria. This means you must be:

  • A South African citizen;

  • Over 21 and mentally competent to sign a contract;

  • Married or living with a partner, or single and have dependants (single military veterans or aged people without dependents also qualify);

  • Earn less than R3,500 per month per household (so if two people in your family earn and these earnings amount to more than R3,500 per month you will not qualify);

  • A first-time government subsidy recipient;

  • A first-time homeowner;

If you are disabled you are supposed to be given preference and your house is supposed to be adapted to meet your needs.

To apply for a government subsidy house take the following documents to a provincial office of the DHS, or your municipal offices:

  • Applicant and spouse’s identity documents (green book or ID card);

  • Certified copies of birth certificates of children;

  • Proof of income if working, e.g. salary slip;

You will be asked to fill in a housing subsidy application form. Depending on your province or municipality, you will then be registered on the National Housing Needs Register or your Municipal Housing Demands Database. This is a “waiting list”. Once the project is finalised and the houses built, you will be given keys and a title deed to your home, but it can take many years.

It is illegal to sell an RDP house before you’ve lived in it for eight years. It is illegal to rent out an RDP house.

2. In terms of getting a government loan for a house, the Financed Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) might apply to you if you earn more than R3,500 but less than R22,000 per month (which is the minimum amount needed to qualify for a home loan from a bank).

Again, the following information is from a GroundUp article:

FLISP helps people who qualify for a home loan to buy a house for the first time. FLISP gives you a grant which can be used to reduce the initial loan amount. This will make your monthly FLISP repayments lower. It can also be used as a deposit. 

The subsidy rates were amended in 2018, so If you earn R15,000 a month, you can now qualify for a subsidy of R62,304, compared to the previous amount of R20,000. If you earn R22,000 a month you can qualify for a subsidy of R27,960.

FLISP grants can be used for both existing houses and to build a new one. It used to be the case that you could not sell a FLISP house before eight years, like an RDP house, but that no longer applies. However, if you sell your house, you may not apply for a second FLISP grant.

Besides getting approval for a home loan and earning between R3,500 and R22,000 per month, you must meet the same criteria as described for RDP houses above.

To apply for a FLISP grant, you must first go to your bank or financial institution and apply for a home loan. For that you will need:

  • Certified copy of your South African ID or passport/permanent residence permit;

  • Copy of your signed Offer to Purchase the house or property;

  • Proof of your current residential address;

  • Official salary slip or stamped bank statement showing the last three months of income.

To qualify for a home loan you have to be over 21, have been employed for a minimum of six months, have no defaults on your credit profile and earn above the minimum salary requirement as decided by your chosen bank. If your home loan application is denied, your FLISP application will not be considered.

Once this has been completed:

  • Ask for an “Approval in Principle” letter from the bank;

  • Register on the FLISP website: or go to your municipal offices to register for a FLISP grant;

  • Compile the following certified documents for your application:

    • Home Loan Approval in Principle letter from your bank;

    • Completed FLISP application form available from National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC) website;

    • RSA ID document or permanent residence permit;

    • Certified copies of birth certificates/RSA IDs of all your dependents, and proof of foster children guardianship (where applicable);

    • Proof of marriage, civil union or partnership (an affidavit can be done for the latter);

    • Divorce settlement (where applicable);

    • Spouse’s death certificate (where applicable);

    • Proof of monthly income;

    • Agreement of sale for the property or building contract and approved building plan (where applicable).

Once this is done, your completed FLISP application will be sent to the National Housing Finance Corporation to be processed.

3. For free paralegal advice from the Black Sash, you can phone them on their helpline number: 072 663 3739

Or, contact their regional office in KZN here:

Tel: +27 31 3019215

Street Address: Diakonia Centre, 
20 Diakonia Street (previously St Andrews Street),
Durban, 4001

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Oct. 29, 2021, 11:39 a.m.

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Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.