Advertisements offering government-subsidised homes for sale have prompted the department of human settlements in the Eastern Cape to warn prospective buyers that the transaction is illegal.

“The department has not sanctioned any sale of government-subsidised houses to anyone‚” the department warned on Wednesday.

Breaking New Ground-subsidised homes are allocated free of charge to people with an income of less than R3‚500 a month‚ once they have followed an official application process.

“The department is aware of advertisements that are selling government-subsidised houses to the public. It must be on record that any sale of a government-subsidised house is illegal and unlawful. The policy prescripts prohibit the sale of government-subsidised houses within eight years of its handover‚” said the department in a statement.

Once the eight-year period had lapsed and the beneficiary no longer needed a the house‚ it had to be offered back to the state and reallocated to the next qualifying person on the list.

“The province still has a huge backlog of housing needs and as such‚ these illegal sales are a set back to the efforts in reducing the backlog and provision of decent homes to the poor and marginalised.”

People were urged to report the sale of these homes to police.

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