Focusing on the people and the place, the government announced a package of measures and incentives, Interior Minister Nikos Nouris said in a speech during a KOAG press conference on the Housing Program implemented by the Organization based on the Ministry's measures.
As Mr. Nouris said, “the package includes, among other things, new improved housing plans to support families living in the countryside, in our mountainous, remote and disadvantaged areas, as well as attracting new residents to them. At the same time, it includes the granting of attractive urban incentives, in the context of an integrated housing policy, for the production of affordable housing and the creation of an affordable rental market in urban centers and specific residential areas and zones in them “.
Urban Incentives for affordable housing and creating an affordable rental market
The urban incentives provided through the various projects function as tools for creating an affordable housing market while meeting the goal of meeting social needs.
Mr. Nouris said that “We have implemented three improved, attractive urban incentives in order to mobilize investment in the housing market, attracting the interest of the wider public and private sector in the production of affordable housing. We grant an increase in the building factor of up to 45% in residential areas where a coefficient equal to or greater than 1.20: 1 applies, meaning that the 20% increase will be granted to the Cyprus Land Development Organization (KOAG) in the form of ready-made housing units so that to be made available with the affordable housing plan “.
There is still a 25% increase in the building rate in residential areas with a rate equal to or greater than 1.00: 1 with the obligation, either to allocate 10% to the COAG, or to rent 50% of the housing units for at least five years, with the aim of creating an affordable rental market.
The Minister of Interior referred to both Housing Plans that the Ministry of Interior has announced, which, in full harmonization with the plans of KOAG, complement and complete the Government's housing policy.
1. Housing Plan for the Rehabilitation of Mountainous, Acritic and Disadvantaged Areas
The first is the Housing Plan for the Rehabilitation of Mountainous, Acritic and Disadvantaged Areas, which is an improved continuation of the previous Plan that was first implemented in July 2019 and which has so far benefited 226 applicants at a cost of € 6.5 millions.
The new Plan covers 130 additional Communities from the 2019 Plan. The new Plan includes 258 Communities. The main feature of the plan is the significantly increased benefits, especially for young couples and large families, but also the expansion of income criteria that allow the participation of an extremely large number of applicants.
The financial aid to single individuals, couples, but also families amounts to up to € 55,000, while additional amounts up to € 15,000 are offered in case of special constructions such as e.g. retaining walls, as well as up to € 10,000 for people with disabilities.
2. Housing Plan for Rehabilitation of Specific Rural Areas
The second plan is the Housing Plan for the Rehabilitation of Specific Rural Areas, which extends and complements our housing policy to all other Communities and the entire countryside, which are not covered by the previous Plan. This new Plan benefits an additional 128 Communities with financial assistance amounting to up to € 20,000 for families of four or more and up to € 15,000 for single people and families up to three people.
The start date for applications for both housing projects was set for March 1, 2021, with a deadline of December 31, 2021. He noted that the projects do not end at the end of this year. These will be evaluated and re-announced for 2022 with corrective changes that may arise through the implementation of the Plans.