Answer to a question from a reader

My husband got an RDP house with his previous wife. Can I apply for one without him?

The short answer

Unfortunately, I don't think you can but you might be able to apply for a subsidy.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

My husband received an RDP house with his first wife. I have never received or owned an RDP house. Is it possible for me to apply for one without him?

The long answer

Unfortunately, I don’t think you can. 

When a couple applies for an RDP house, both their names are recorded on a database. If they separate from the partner whose name appears in the database, they will not be granted another subsidy with a new partner, because they are only ever entitled to one subsidy. 

If you were not living with your husband but with dependents like children or grandchildren, siblings or sick relatives, and you earned less than R3,500 a month, you could apply for an RDP house in your own right. But given that you are married to someone who has already received an RDP house once, I don’t think you will qualify.

But, if your husband did not receive any benefit from the RDP property when he and his first wife divorced – if he lost everything – and you applied for an RDP house, the MEC for housing might decide to give you a subsidy, after investigating your circumstances. The MEC in each province has the power to review a decision, on a case-by-case basis.

The Housing Assistance contact number for the Western Cape is 079 769 1207 (Please-Call- Me).

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Feb. 5, 2021, 12:30 p.m.

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