The Malta Independent 14 November 2018, Wednesday

Second affordable home loan scheme for home ownership launched

Thursday, 25 January 2018, 09:27 Last update: about 11 months ago

The Parliamentary Secretary for Social Accommodation on Tuesday launched an affordable loan scheme, in agreement with the Bank of Valletta - The BOV Home Assist - Housing Authority Repayment Assistance Scheme..

This is the second loan scheme of this type, following that offered by APS Bank that was launched in April 2017. 

The aim of this new scheme is two-fold: in the first part, the scheme assists those who cannot obtain lending to purchase property due to the upfront deposit of 10% on the price of the property, where Bank of Valletta will be financing the property in full, with the Housing Authority acting as a guarantor in-lieu of the 10% deposit. The second type of aid under this scheme is a form of a subsidy granted by the Housing Authority of up to €167 per month on the loan repayment. This subsidy is deposited directly in the applicant's home loan account. 

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During the launch of the 'BOV Home Assist', Parliamentary Secretary for Social Accommodation Roderick Galdes said through these affordable loans, the government will be helping more people gain independence from social housing and become housing home ownership. 

'This is one of the solutions that is being offered to persons, who, for some reason, cannot obtain a home loan. While the outcome of the application remains at the discretion of the bank and its lending criteria, the Housing Authority and the FSWS, through the 'BOV Home Assist' is giving the opportunity to those in lower income brackets to become owners of their homes', Mr Galdes continued. 

He went on to say that under this scheme, the bank will lend up to a maximum of €120,000, an increase of 20% over the maximum permitted through the scheme offered by APS Bank. Negotiations with Bank of Valletta resulted in an increase in the income thresholds that determine whether an applicant was eligible for this loan. Indeed, the thresholds for single people increased from a maximum of €13,200 to €18,000, for single parents, the amount went up to €19,000 from € 15,600, and the threshold for couples increased from €18,000 to €20,000. 

'This means that through the €30 million that are being invested in this scheme by the government, we will be helping more people, following the success of the similar scheme launched with APS Bank' Mr Galdes concluded. 

'Bank of Valletta has always been at the forefront in promoting home loans that assist our customers become home owners in an affordable manner. The 'BOV Home Assist' reinforces such mission by ensuring that customers in the lower income bracket can also afford to own their home in a sustainable manner,' said Albert Frendo, Chief Business Development Officer at Bank of Valletta. 'BOV Home Assist was designed through the close collaboration of the bank, the government and its agencies and it ensures a risk sharing mechanism that allows customers to meet the bank's criteria and borrow money to become owners of their own home.'  
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