Applications for subsidised home loans start from September 10

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(HINA) Construction and Physical Planning Minister Predrag Stromar said on Tuesday that a new round of applications would be invited on Wednesday for home loan subsidies for people aged under 45 who do not own a house or a flat and that it would be possible to submit applications from September 10, while two more rounds of applications would be invited in March and September 2020.

The minister said that this year citizens would be able to apply for subsidised housing loans with the lowest interest rates so far, ranging from 2.19% to 3.75%.

More than 20,000 families will have solved their housing problem by end of 2020. 

Stromar said that he expected the number of applications for home loan subsidies to be higher this year than in 2018, which saw a 29% increase in such applications over 2017.

In the past two years since the entry into force of the law on subsidised home loans, 5,300 applications for subsidies were approved, and when flats built as part of the socially subsidised housing construction scheme (POS) are added to that number, one arrives at a figure of around 13,500 families that have solved their housing problem, said the minister, hopeful that that number would exceed 20,000 by the end of 2020.

The minister recalled that changes to the law on the POS housing construction scheme enabled also the purchase of all flats on the market and not only newly-built ones.

He said that that was done to help also people aged above 45 to solve their housing problem under more favourable terms.

As for people aged 18-30, Stromar said that they needed more favourable apartment lease terms and that they would be able to apply to lease flats built as part of the POS scheme that had not been sold. 

Work has been underway on a new scheme for the construction of flats for lease, Stromar said, noting that this would enable tenants of such flats to purchase them after several years of lease, while the price of the flat would be reduced by the amount of their previous lease payments.  

Minister comments on planned changes to Zagreb city plan, pension reform 

Stromar also expressed satisfaction with the great interest of citizens in the public consultation on planned changes to the Zagreb city plan, noting that city services should now analyse the proposals submitted for possible amendment of the proposed changes and then forward the plan to the City Assembly for adoption. 

As for reports that the government is giving up on its plan to consolidate the second pension pillar, which is based on capitalised pension savings managed by private pension funds, Stromar said that his Croatian People's Party (HNS) had insisted on the pension reform covering also the second pension pillar and that it wanted it to be reinforced.

"We want the second pension pillar to be stronger because our future pensions depend on it," said Stromar.

Text: Hina