Interior Minister Nikos Nouris said that over the past two years, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Cyprus has approved 437 applications (more than 14 million euros) as part of a program to support housing construction in mountainous and remote areas of the island.
In turn, from January to October 2021, 147 applicants received a positive response, the amount of support was 6.6 million euros. 125 applications (5.4 million euros) concerned remote areas and 19 applications (1 million euros) were mountainous and less favorable areas, also three applications (200 thousand euros) were for extremely remote settlements.
Nouris noted that by the end of the year the Ministry of Internal Affairs will consider 78 more applications.
The program is relatively new and covers 258 Cypriot villages. The main goal of the government is to stop the outflow of rural population to the cities.
The plan includes provisions for the construction of a house, the purchase of a new or existing house, as well as free acquisition (inheritance of property) and the cost of improving a private house for permanent ownership. Financial support is paid in two parts. The first installment is provided as an advance payment upon receipt of a permit for the construction / purchase of housing, and the second installment is after that.
The criteria of the scheme provide that:
- the village must be located at an altitude of 500+ m above sea level;
- the village must be 40+ km away from the city center, regardless of population and altitude;
- the village must have a population of 500- inhabitants (2011 census) and at the same time be 30+ km away from the city center.
The amount of financial support for the program participants is:
- for single persons – 20 thousand euros,
- for couples - up to 30 thousand euros,
- for families with children or single-parent families - up to 35 thousand euros,
- for couples whose age is not more than 41 years at the time of application - up to 45 thousand euros,
- for couples whose age is not more than 41 years at the time of application, with children - up to 50 thousand euros,
- for large families with four or more children - up to 55 thousand euros.
People with disabilities are allocated an additional 10 thousand euros to install special structures for their movement in homes.
In addition, the Ministry of Internal Affairs provides additional financial assistance - a minimum annual grant of 400 euros per family living at a distance of 40+ km from the city center. The grant increases in proportion to the distance (400 euros for those who live from 40 to 59 km from the city, 500 euros for 60-79 km and 600 euros for more than 80 km). The purpose of this assistance is to cover transportation costs.
The Minister of Internal Affairs stressed that starting next year, the Ministry of Internal Affairs intends to continue implementing the program to support housing construction in mountainous and remote areas of the island, the next stage of which will end on December 31, 2021.
More detailed information about the housing state support program can be found on the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
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