Advice and Opinion Areas and Places

Residents fall victim to housing scams

The City has recently been made aware of several housing scams that have affected residents in various parts of Cape Town. It has been confirmed that some residents have fallen victim to these scams and have indeed ‘bought’ land or housing units which were promised to them through these illegal sales. The City has also been informed that some of these culprits are operating with unauthorised documents which contain the City’s official logo.

Some residents have made claims in the media that they were sold housing units by people who claim to be from the City’s Human Settlements Directorate. After money is paid for these promised housing units or pieces of land, the culprits disappear with the money.

It has been reported to the City that in some cases, after residents have paid for an erf, the scammers even send an SMS ‘allocating’ an ‘erf number’ to the duped resident.

Residents must note that, should a person qualify in terms of the national criteria for a subsidy, they must not pay any money to anyone to be placed on the housing database or to receive a house.

The City of Cape Town’s Housing Allocation Policy makes provision for qualifying applicants who live in any given area to be considered for housing opportunities in housing projects across the city.

Beneficiaries of new housing projects are drawn, on a project specific percentage basis, from qualifying applicants who are registered on the housing database from the area where the development is being undertaken but also from qualifying applicants residing outside of the boundaries of a given development. This is to ensure that the allocation of housing opportunities is fair and equitable for all applicants on the database, irrespective of the area in which they reside.

Applicants are urged to contact their local housing office to update their details on the database so that they can be contacted easily when their housing opportunity arises.

Potential applicants can apply at a local housing office; the City’s Wale Street Walk-in Centre offices; or by visiting the housing kiosk on the 2nd Floor (concourse level) of the Civic Centre in Hertzog Boulevard.