Incentives for housing with financial support in all communities, even in the lowlands, are being promoted by the government as a counter-proposal to the request raised in the context of the revised 2021 budget for individual housing. As part of the change of the Policy Statement for agricultural parcels for housing development purposes, the Ministry of Interior is preparing a plan that will benefit 134 communities that do not participate in the existing plan for the revitalization of mountainous, remote and disadvantaged areas.
The aim of the new plan is for the residents of the communities to stay in their areas. Speaking to “F”, the Minister of Interior, Nikos Nouris, stated that the said plan is being processed in order to grant aid on the basis of criteria. Today, he said, a total of 259 communities are benefiting from the plans, with 131 being added a few months ago. As the criteria change, he said, a specific plan will be proposed in the remaining 134 communities.
According to this proposal, the provision of financial support will cover 50% of the total cost of acquiring a home. The maximum amount proposed is € 15,000 for single people and families up to 3 people and € 20,000 for families of 4 people and over. The plan will include provisions for the construction of a house, for the purchase of a new or existing house and with the free acquisition (inheritance of property) and the implementation of expenditures for the improvement of a privately owned house for permanent ownership. Under the proposal, the financial support will be paid in two installments. The first installment will be given as an advance with the securing of the building permit and the second installment with the completion of the house acquisition works.
Further, improvements will be made to the housing plan for the revitalization of mountainous, remote and disadvantaged areas with the financial support of young couples and large families up to 41 years of age, in which the 259 communities participate. Specifically, the grant increases from € 30,000 to € 40,000 to young couples, in a young family with children the grant increases from € 35,000 to € 45,000, while in a large family the grant increases from € 40,000 to € 55,000. Additionally, the allowance for special constructions such as the construction of a retaining wall is increased with the help of increasing from € 10,000 to € 15,000.
According to Mr. Nouris, with the new plan, but also the improvements to the existing one, the possibility of substantial financial support is provided for the acquisition, without a derogation procedure, of a privately owned house for permanent ownership, with special reference to young couples and large families.
The aid amounts to 50% of the total expenditure, with a minimum total expenditure of € 20,000 with the maximum aid being dependent on the composition of the family. It is noted that the income criteria of the plan are formed on the basis of gross family income.
According to the interior minister, the plan aims to prevent astyphilia by giving those who do not have a piece of land the opportunity to acquire it and build a house in residential areas. He added that with the change of the altitude criterion to 500 from 600 meters, as well as the reduction of the distance to 40 km from the urban center, more areas were included in the plans.
Mr. Nouris stated that the cost of building a house in the countryside is lower than in the cities, since relatives and friends participate and help.
Regarding the request made by parties, municipalities and communities for the construction of an individual house, Mr. Nouris stated that the anarchic residential development of the past will not be allowed. The detached house, he said, does not benefit the development of the place, noting that it only causes problems. Referring to specific examples, he noted that “we experienced the fire in Evrychou that started from an individual house”, referring to the obstacles that are set for the creation of photovoltaic parks, but also livestock zones since the permits for individual houses were given. In addition, he said, he sees a dramatic increase in the cost of services such as water supply, sewerage, and cleaning, as communities are forced to pick up rubbish from units on their outskirts. He stressed that the values of residential plots in development zones are also altered, if the right is given to build where there is a field.