The Malta Independent 21 November 2018, Wednesday

PA extends 'Restore Your Home' scheme for UCA and scheduled buildings

Julian Bonnici Tuesday, 20 March 2018, 11:35 Last update: about 9 months ago

The ‘Restore Your Home’ scheme has been extended for another year, with the total fund increasing to €10 million, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg announced today.

A €7.5 million fund has been established for any private residential home that has UCA status (max 10,000 for facade), Grade 2 scheduling (max 50,000 to be used on the exterior, interior, and garden), and Grade 1 scheduling (max 100,000 to be used on the exterior, interior, and garden).

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The scheme will be used to assist three other categories of people. 1 million will be set aside for UCA residences of individuals with special needs, who will have access to a maximum of 10,000 to develop the facade and/or improve the interior’s accessibility. Citizens over the age of 65 will have access to a maximum of 10,000 out of a 1 million fund to develop their UCA residence’s exterior. While, 500,000 will be set aside for UCA residencies of voluntary organisation to develop the buildings facade (max. 10,000).

Specific criteria will be made available on the PA’s website.

The application period opens on 2 April, with the results being published on 28 June. The application must be done through an architect on the PA’s online application system.

All works must commence after 1 April 2018 and must be finalised by 30 September 2030. All VAT and Fiscal receipts must be submitted.

All projects will be monitored by the PA.

Permits must be applied separately from applications for funds. While a specific application does not require a PA permit during the application stage, the applicant will have until 31 October 2018 to get the necessary documentation and approval.

The scheme will not fund sandblasting, power washing, chipping or any other irreversible abrasive methods; the funds will not be used for the installation of services or anything not related to restoration.

The scheme will not fund unauthorized works, development illegalities, sites which have a pending PA enforcement case, sites which have an appeal against scheduling, demolition, reinstatement when there is lack of historical evidence, restoration of moveable objects, and alternations not aimed at restoration

Speaking at a press conference at Casino Notabile in Rabat, Borg said that the project is amongst a number of measures that will be geared towards an improvement in sustainable development.

“It is important that people realise that PA’s job is not only permit development, but also to protect valuable buildings,” he said.

PA CEO Johann Buttigieg, who outlined the specifics of the project, said that a culture change must take place in Maltese society about the importance of protected and scheduled property.

He also warned that the previous scheme had closed a month early due to the demand.

PS for Planning Chris Agius praised the increase in the fund and the benefits of the program provides to first-time buyers, and vulnerable groups in particular.

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