Answer to a question from a reader

Can I apply for an RDP house if I have previously owned a home?

The short answer

RDP houses are only given to first-time homeowners but you can apply for CRU.

The whole question

In 2009, I bought a joint-bond house with my brother and his wife. The agent was untrustworthy and I ended up paying the bond for a house I was not living in. Later, the bank auctioned it and I was left without a house. Now, I am unemployed and I have no house. 

I previously applied for an RDP house but never got it, which is why I opted for the joint-bond as I could not afford it on my own. I need to know if I qualify for RDP now and what I must do. I lost my C Form a long time ago and have never applied for a government subsidy. 

The long answer

Thank you for your email asking if you can apply for an RDP house, now that the bank has auctioned off the house that you bought jointly with your brother, and you are now unemployed and without a house.

Unfortunately, because you owned a house before, you will not qualify for an RDP house, as they are only given to first-time homeowners. 

There is another kind of government housing programme, the Community Residential Units and Housing Programme, known as CRU. This is housing that you rent from the government, not buy, and it is aimed at refurbishing inner-city buildings and hostels.

You are allowed to apply for CRU if you have previously owned a house, but you can only qualify if you are:

  • Married or living with a partner or a single person with dependents

  • A South African citizen

  • Over the age of eighteen and mentally competent to sign a contract

  • Have a monthly household income of between R800 to R3,500.

  • Registered on the Municipal Housing Demand Database/National Housing Needs Register

You would have to show the municipality payslips and bank statements, which would be a problem at the moment as you are unemployed unless you have a partner who is employed. In that case, you would have to show them his ID as well as your own. You would also need to show certified copies of the children’s birth certificates. It’s not clear from your email whether the children are still dependent on you, but that would also be a question for the municipality.

Answered on Nov. 3, 2020, noon

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