New bank for home finance to open soon

Johannesburg, 2 June 2015 - Government is urging corporates to join the fight for adequate housing in South Africa. This includes paying housing subsidies or providing rental options for employees.

JOHANNESBURG - A new human settlements development bank that amalgamates three development institutions involved in the finance of housing is to be launched on Friday.

The launch will set in motion the operational integration of the three entities — the Rural Housing Loan Fund, the National Housing Finance Corporation and the National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency.

READ: Government exploring ways to deal with housing problems

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said at a briefing on Thursday, ahead of her budget vote speech in the National Assembly, that the bank would play a critical role in financing the department’s large catalytic projects, which are undertaken by the government in partnership with the private sector.

The department plans to roll out 46 catalytic projects.

“The strategic focus of the bank will be to facilitate the increased provision of finance across the human settlements value chain, and the specific priority for the bank in this respect is the mobilisation of and the provision of finance for all planned catalytic projects. The bank would be the asset that our struggling black entrepreneurs have been waiting for,” Sisulu said in her speech.

Human settlements director-general Mbulelo Tshangana explained that the department did not want to hold back the operational integration of the three institutions until the promulgation of the Human Settlements Development Bank Bill.

Tshangana was optimistic that the bill could be passed by Parliament by September.

The bank was intended to cater for a wide range of market segments but primarily for those who earned less than R240,000 per year, he said.

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