How to qualify for a housing subsidy from the government and how to apply for the subsidy!! (Updated 04 Feb 2023)
After reading this article, you will know:
- What is the name of the housing subsidy provided by the government?
- What are the criteria for qualifying for a FLISP subsidy?
- When during the home-buying process can you apply for the FLISP subsidy?
- How much of a FLISP subsidy do you qualify for based on your gross monthly income?
- How can you apply for your FLISP subsidy without hassle?
- What can you use your FLISP subsidy for?
A housing subsidy from the government is a financial contribution that the government makes towards the purchase of a primary residence. South Africans who want to qualify for a housing subsidy from the government need to meet a certain set of requirements. We will investigate these requirements in great detail further in this article.
Many South Africans qualify for a housing subsidy from the government without even realizing it. The Department of Human Settlements provides a housing subsidy called the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme or FLISP for short.
The name “Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme” reflects its connection to your home loan finance. It is very important to understand that you cannot obtain this housing subsidy without an approved home loan from one of the home loan lenders (banks) in South Africa. The “subsidy” part of the name means the Department of Human Settlements pays a portion of the cost of the property.
The criteria for applying for FLISP
Before we move on, let’s look at the criteria that would enable you to qualify for a FLISP subsidy. So, before you can apply and qualify for the FLISP subsidy, you have to tick all these boxes:
- You have to be a South African Citizen
- You have to earn more than R3500 per month and less than R22 000. This is your gross household income before deductions. If you have a spouse, both your monthly gross salaries together cannot exceed R22 000.
- If you are unmarried, you must have a dependant, such as a child, retired parent, or financially dependent family member, who lives with you.
- You must be a first-time home buyer. You must never have owned a property before.
- You must not have benefitted from any previous housing subsidies
- You must have an approved home loan. Let’s examine this further to avoid confusion, as many people have trouble with this part. You cannot apply for the housing subsidy before you don’t have an approved home loan.
Let’s backtrack a bit to see where exactly the FLISP application falls in the process. When you are ready to start house hunting…
- You first apply for a pre-approval certificate from your bond originator. This is so that you can know what the home loan amount is that you qualify for (refer to the article on pre-approval certificates).
- Once the bank pre-approves you for let’s say R600 000, you now know you can shop around for houses that cost a maximum of R600 000.
- Once you see a home that you like, you make an offer on the property, and when the seller accepts your offer, you now apply for the actual home loan. You can complete this process through your bond originator, as explained in the article on applying for a home loan through a bond originator. This process normally takes between two and three weeks.
- Once your home loan is approved, you meet the eligibility criteria and can apply for your FLISP subsidy.
The FLISP sliding scale
The smaller your monthly salary, the larger the FLISP amount that you qualify for, and the bigger your salary, the smaller the FLISP amount that you qualify for. For instance, if your monthly income is R3501 you qualify for an amount of R121 626, and if your monthly salary is R22 000 you qualify for an amount of R27 960 and anything in between.
So, as you can see, FLISP differs from an RDP house in that you do not receive the house. You still need to qualify for a home loan. The Department of Human Settlements only helps you financially with a portion of the cost. The beauty is you can be creative and apply for the FLISP money any way you like.
Here are some ideas on how the FLISP money can come in handy:
Use FLISP money for a home deposit, making saving easier as it can be challenging to save for a deposit.
- Your FLISP money can also be used to pay the lawyers for the transfer of the property
- You can also use the FLISP money to pay an upfront lump sum toward your home loan. This will reduce monthly bond repayments and interest over the bond repayment period.
As you can see, it is really worth your while to apply for free money from the government if you do meet the application criteria.
Due to a lack of advertising, the FLISP subsidy is not widely known, even though it is a valuable resource. Even if you do know about it, it’s a hassle queuing at a government department with an unclear location. Avoid the hassle by working with a company that knows the process.
How to apply for your FLISP subsidy hassle-free
I have discovered a company, where you don’t stand in any queue and you apply online. Get the FLISP subsidy approved quickly by working with a company familiar with the requirements and the system at the Department of Human Settlements.
All you have to do is pay them a small fee. The company is called www.flisp.co.za. If you opt not to pay the small fee, you can still apply directly. However, paying the fee can make the application process smoother and increase the chances of receiving approval for the FLISP subsidy. There is a saying that says, “Never look at the price of the shovel when you are digging for gold”. A nominal fee is a small price to pay for a huge subsidy toward owning your very first home.
Good luck with your FLISP application and happy house hunting.