The Malta Independent 30 March 2023, Thursday
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BOV and Housing Authority offer ‘New Hope’ to homeowners

Thursday, 2 February 2023, 12:47 Last update: about 3 months ago

Signing of agreement presided over by the Minister for Social and Affordable Accommodation and Minister for the Economy, European Funds and Lands

Bank of Valletta and the Housing Authority signed an agreement that gives BOV clients the opportunity to benefit from the authority's 'New Hope Guarantee Scheme'. This agreement makes it easier for aspiring homeowners to acquire their primary residence by offering life cover that may have been difficult to obtain due to a disability, medical condition, or medical history.

The agreement was signed at the BOV Head Office in Santa Venera by Bank of Valletta CEO Kenneth Farrugia, by the Housing Authority's CEO Matthew Zerafa and the authority's Chairman Mr Robert Ducker. The signing ceremony was presided over by Roderick Galdes, Minister for Social and Affordable Accommodation and by Silvio Schembri, Minister for the Economy, EU Funds and Lands. Present was also Chief Personal and Wealth Officer Simon Azzopardi.

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With the 'New Hope Guarantee Scheme' the Housing Authority pledges to serve as a guarantor to those persons whose request for a life cover on their home loan was declined by local companies, was postponed by 12 months, or resulted in a very high premium. The guarantee covers a maximum loan of €250,000 on property that will be used as a primary residence.

Roderick Galdes expressed satisfaction in seeing more banks joining the scheme, thereby giving more opportunity to their clients to become homeowners, notwithstanding the difficulties and challenges these clients would have experienced. This scheme, said Mr Galdes, offers stability to those benefitting from it.

In his address, Silvio Schembri reiterated that "today marks a very important milestone, as the largest commercial bank in Malta, Bank of Valletta, becomes the third local bank to join this scheme. It is already hard enough for some aspiring homeowners who find closed doors when trying to apply for a home loan even though they already had the financial means to do so; the Government felt this to be an injustice and did its utmost to address the situation".

Bank of Valletta CEO, Kenneth Farrugia said that, by joining the New Hope Guarantee Scheme, the Bank will be reaching out to those customer segments that, up to today, were unable to obtain a life cover for their home loan. This assistance goes hand in hand with BOV's philosophy of placing the customer at the centre of its operations and creating value at every point of interaction. The recent introduction of the BOV Home Loans Online Portal is a perfect example of this, offering potential homeowners the facility to apply for a home loan and calculate how much they afford, simply by logging onto a digital platform from the comfort of their home.

Matthew Zerafa, Housing Authority CEO welcomed BOV to the scheme and said that it is now possible for those who up to a few months ago were losing hope of becoming homeowners to get the peace of mind they truly deserve.


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