Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Government’s aim is to produce ‘affordable housing’

The new eight-pillar government housing policy framework presented today by Ministers of Home Affairs and Labor, Welfare and Social Security Konstantinos Petridis and Zeta Aimilianidou. 
Speaking at a joint press conference in the presence of representatives from the Department of Planning and Housing, the Cyprus Land Development Organization (KOAG) and the Housing Finance Agency (LFS), Mr. Petridis stressed that “young, well-educated the Ministry of the Interior as well as the Ministry of Labor, but also the COGC and the OSH, are an integrated approach that will deliver both immediate results for targeted groups of the population and a gradual structural solution handicaps in the housing market. “

The government’s aim, the ministry said, is to produce “affordable housing” , designated by the European Commission as housing that costs less than 30% of a household’s gross income. 
Indicatively, Mr. Petridis said that for 2017 the average construction cost is, according to Statistics Office, for apartments 869 euros per square meter and for houses 1.086 euros, adding that an affordable housing of 80 square meters will range around 70,000 euros and an affordable 100 sqm apartment will range around 86,000 euros. 
He stated that the Management of Affordable Housing Disposal Management was designated by the COAG and noted that affordable housingwill be available to beneficiaries at the average construction cost price as published by the Statistical Service of Cyprus. 
Specifically, the eight pillars, according to the housing policy framework, are:

  •  introduction of urban incentives and tools for affordable housing production and the creation of an affordable rental market,
  • the subsidy for rent from the Ministry of Labor,
  • the introduction of new simplified and targeted housing plans for remote and mountainous areas and for displaced persons,
  • new program for the creation of housing units by KOAG,
  • differentiating the role of the COG,
  • subsidizing rent to displaced persons,
  • maintenance / repair of refugee settlements and housing settlements
  • and working with local authorities.

Regarding the basic requirements for the creation of affordable housing units, they are, inter alia, according to the Ministry of Interior, within a residential area with a building factor equal to or greater than 1.40: 1, a maximum increase in the number of floors limited to 2 beyond the maximum allowed from a current residential area, studio or one bedroom residential units shall not exceed 30% of all residential units and provision of suitable systems for the utilization of RES.

In relation to the new simplified housing plans, under the housing policy framework, the aid amounts to 50% of the total cost, with a total cost threshold of € 20,000 and covers housing construction, purchase of new housing, purchase and improvement of existing housing, acquisition with donation and improvement. 
Mr Petridis said housing plans concern mountainous areas (110 communities), remote areas and displaced persons.

In more detail: 

For suburban areas:

  • Areas along the Green Line in the Municipalities of Nicosia and Agios Dometios and Communities and Areas adjacent to the Confrontation Line (Upper Pyrgos, Lower Pyrgos, Pigainia, Pachyamos, Mosfiliou, Denea, Denea, Denea, Doumenia, Denea), , Strovilia, Lympia, Potamia, Derynia Achna, Frenaros, Acheritos, Avgouros).     

Beneficiaries for the remote and mountainous areas :

Cypriot and EU MS Citizens with 5 years of legal and continuous residence in Cyprus

• Displaced or Affected Plan: Permanently established in the Republic

Targeting or additional support for specific population groups:

  • Young Couples
  • Single parent families
  • Many children
  • Disabled
  • Displaced
  • Repatriated

Financial aid:

Income criteria :  

The income criteria are set for a Single Person or Single Family at 25,000 euros gross family income, for a couple at 45,000 euros, for a family of three at 50,000, for a family of four at 55,000, for a family of five or more at 65,000.

He said that for all pillars there will be financial revenue through the investment program for naturalization, and noted that for each new naturalization, 75,000 euros will be given to the COAG Fund to be used for housing policy issues.

Tomorrow applications for planning incentives

Mr. Petridis stressed that to this end, three urban incentives have been introduced for which applications can be submitted tomorrow.

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Specifically, the incentive is to increase the building coefficient by 25% and create affordable housing developments (minimum eight-year rental period), 25% building coefficient with a 10% requirement for the creation of affordable housing units that will be available to KOAG to distribute them to beneficiaries, and increase the building coefficient by 45% to larger units by 20% for the creation of affordable housing units. 
Challenge of Affordable and Satisfactory Housing – EU and Cyprus

In particular, regarding the challenge of affordable and satisfactory housing, Mr Petridis cited European Commission data in 2017 that “excessive burdens” on housing (when total housing costs exceed 40% of household disposable income) it represented 38% of poor families and 10.4% of the total EU population. 
It noted that Cyprus ranks as the second country with the lowest “overweight” ratio with only 10.3% of poor families and 2.8%. % of total population smm.
In relation to the second indicator on the percentage of household spending on housing, Mr Petridis said the EU average is 41% for poor families and 22% for the entire EU population as opposed to 19%. % and 7% in Cyprus, while in relation to the “inadequacy” of housing units in the EU living in these conditions is 9.1% for poor families and 4% for the total population, while in Cyprus it was at 3.9% and 0.9%, respectively.
Concerning the size of housing, the Minister of Interior said that the proportion of Europeans living in such conditions amounted to 26.5% for poor families and 15.7% for the total population and added that Cyprus was the second country (after Malta) with the lowest proportion of the population living in such conditions as the percentage for poor households is limited to 6% while for the total population it is 2.8%. 
He noted that in 15 EU countries the figure exceeds 25% for poor families, while in 13 it exceeds 20% for the total population. 
“Despite the favorable benchmarks for Cyprus, the problems are real and significant. Between 2007 and 2017, families facing ‘overburdening’ on housing costs have increased significantly, with many borrowers having significant problems repaying their loans while rents in cities have increased by 30-50% in recent years. ” underlined.

Υπουργός Εσωτερικών και Υπουργός Εργασίας – Νέο Πλαίσιο Στεγαστικής Πολιτικής Αμφιθέατρο Τμήματος Πολεοδομίας και Οικήσεως (οδός Κινύρα 5-6,1102) Λευκωσία, Κύπρος O Υπουργός Εσωτερικών κ. Κωνσταντίνος Πετρίδης και η Υπουργός Εργασίας κα Ζέτα Αιμιλιανίδου παρουσιάζουν το νέο Πλαίσιο Στεγαστικής Πολιτικής. // Interior Minister and Labour Minister – Presentation of the new Integrated Housing Policy Amphitheater of the Department of Town Planning and Housing, (5-6 Kyniras street, 1102), Lefkosia, Cyprus The Minister of Interior, Mr Constantinos Petrides, and the Minister of Labour, Welfare and Social Security Ms Zeta Emilianidou present the new Integrated Housing Policy.

In addition to the € 170 million arrears of mortgage beneficiariesCiting state data, the Ministry of Justice said that overdue debt of more than 60% beneficiaries of past government housing projects (KOAG, OXS, Provincial Administrations) exceeded 60%, with the arrears of 170 being overdue. .  

He said the problems today are a consequence of past over-indebtedness, which did not take into account debt repayment capacity, the financial and banking crisis, but also erroneous, unsustainable public housing policies implemented in the past.
“Policies that despite the high financial cost of public money did not contain any structural elements while in many cases added unbearable financial burdens to beneficiaries,” he added.

YPG: Rental subsidy increase – Rental subsidies to € 32m since 2014Announcing the increase in the rent subsidy, the Minister of Labor said today that the Parliament would amend the legislation to increase the rent subsidy so that we could implement it next month. 

He said that with the introduction of the EUS when unemployment in 2013 was 17% (over 55,000 unemployed) the aim was to help all vulnerable groups of the population who were unemployed or with very low incomes to have decent living and housing, adding that With the introduction of the EUS 2014, € 32 million has so far been spent on rent subsidies to vulnerable groups of the population. 
Ms Emilianianidou assured that with the new integrated housing policy”There is no way our fellow citizens have a real problem with no rent subsidy and no housing.” 
He said that around 760,000 euros are currently being given monthly as a rent and mortgage subsidy under EWC law and added that in 2015 there were 2,288 families subsidized by rent of € 2.44 million, in 2016 5,786 families were subsidized with a total of € 9.49 and in 2017 6,055 families were subsidized with € 10.45 million, while in 2018 the families amounted to 5.666 with a subsidy of € 9.87 million.

The Minister of Labor said that the new 2019 study comparing rental prices in 2014 showed an increase in rent in Nicosia by 44.81%, in Limassol by 57.47%, in Larnaca by 42.86%, in Paphos by 68% (there was no several figures in 2014) and in Famagusta 5%.

He said the Council of Ministers decided to increase the rent allowance, given the increase in rents, the province and family composition, and cited an example of a couple with three adult children who will receive a 406 euro subsidy in Nicosia for rent in Limassol 441 euros, Larnaca 350 euros and Paphos and Famagusta 244 euros.

Regarding people with disabilities who are EWC beneficiaries, Ms Emilianianidou said that they have an additional increase of an additional 20 sqm in case of a wheelchair and noted that the total allowance provided is increased by 50% in cases of wheelchair use and by 20% in all other cases.

Beneficiaries of YESThe Minister of Labor said that 788 families are currently supported by the EUSR and include 8,249 adults or minors with disabilities, 2,942 cases of low-income pensioners and 7,376 cases of people aged 55-65.

COG President: 23 units ready in 2021In addition, KOAG President Marios Pelekanos said two housing programs are under way with the units ready within a two-year period, adding that they are eight in Kokkinotrimithia and 15 in Polemidia. 

He said there were also 171 units that were either designed or licensed and were planned to be built over the next few years and added that the method of producing those units had been diversified to speed up the process without compromising the quality and specifications of the units. works. 
He said 63 units are expected to be ready by 2021 and the rest by 2023.New Program for the Creation of Residential Units by KOAGTo this end, it is expected to make use of the available land owned by KOAG for the first phase of construction of 171 new residential units in Kaimakli, Kokkinotrimithia, Larnaca (Parishes of Agios Nikolaos and Sotiros), Polemidia.

  • Differentiation of production and distribution of housing units for immediate securing and disposal of units.
  • New simplified process of production of residential units.
  • Distribution to beneficiaries on the basis of lists drawn up by the COGC. 
  • Delivery of 171 homes by 2023 (first 63 delivered by 2021).






PRESENTATION RENT 17.5.19.pdf 379.91 KB




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