FNB unveils CT housing project

"We’re humbled once again by Minister Sisulu’s trust in us to continue with our housing partnership to alleviate the problem of limited housing stock in the affordable housing segment" A key component of Government’s strategy to develop integrated human settlements came a step closer to fruition with the announcement of a partnership between the Department of Housing and First National Bank (FNB) to build affordable housing for people presently living in shacks or backyards, who are able to service relatively small bonds.

The FNB project will contribute 3,000 bonded housing units to the N2 Gateway Project, at sites in Joe Slovo and Delft.

The 567 bonded homes that constitute Phase 2 of the Joe Slovo development, will border Phase 1, where 705 rental units have already been completed. Joe Slovo Phase 3 will see the construction of approximately 2 000 subsidised homes (of 40 square metres) to be given free to qualifying beneficiaries.

Together, the three phases speak to Government and private sector commitment to eradicate informal settlements, create sustainable communities, and build bridges across racial, spatial and class divides.

The experience gained through building the N2 Gateway Pilot Project will provide a blueprint for future housing delivery across the country.

FNB announced today that the cost of the bonded houses would be between 150,000 rand and 250,000 rand per unit. FNB bonds will be available to people who earn between 3,500 rand and 7,500 rand a month.

Construction has already begun at Joe Slovo. Construction at Delft will commence later this year.

To ensure that the houses are affordable, FNB has partnered with Government which will provide subsidies to qualifying individuals as part of its on-going commitment to house the nation.

Property developers M5 will build the houses, having partnered with FNB to build quality houses in other FNB-funded housing projects in Gauteng.

FNB’s total investment in the N2 Gateway Housing Initiative is in excess of 900 million rand. The investment is the product of collaboration between FNB’s business units, Commercial Property Finance which funds developers and FNB Housing Finance which provides home loans to qualifying individuals.

This collaboration is reflected in the finance structure of the project, with one portion of funding being commercial development to build the houses and the other being end-user finance for potential home buyers.

FNB’s involvement in the N2 Gateway Housing Initiative brings the bank’s total investment in affordable housing in South Africa to more than two billion rand and over 7,000 housing units in the last 15 months.

This amount is set to peak at about the three billion rand mark soon as more affordable housing projects are currently being assessed by the bank and other key housing stakeholders like municipalities and the Department of Housing.

Speaking at the launch today, FNB CEO Michael Jordaan recommitted the bank to future affordable housing developments in partnership with Government.

"We’re humbled once again by Minister Sisulu’s trust in us to continue with our housing partnership to alleviate the problem of limited housing stock in the affordable housing segment," said Jordaan, referring to FNB’s much-lauded and innovative housing finance solution of combining developer and end-user financing.

"Our partnership with Government and M5 has seen us build quality houses in our previous housing developments such as those in Glen Ridge, Soweto, and Cosmo City north of Johannesburg where we have invested in the building of 3 035 and 1 114 houses respectively," says Jordaan.

FNB’s involvement in the N2 Gateway Housing Project also increases the bank’s contribution to the attainment of the 42 billion rand target to be met by banks by December 2008.

Article from: www.sundaytimes.co.za