The government has announced a scheme to help people aged over 40, notably separating couples, buy a property.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the scheme, first announced in the Budget speech, is addressed particularly at separating couples who would need to move into another property but would not be easily able to access bank loans for the purpose.

How the scheme will work

The scheme is capped at properties worth up to €200,000.

Applicants must cover 10 per cent of the property value at the outset. They must make APS Bank loan arrangements to cover at least half the value of the property.

The Housing Authority will acquire the other half.

The applicant will then have 20 years to buy back the remaining half from the Authority, with the cost fixed at the original purchase price.

If the applicant cannot pay the authority back, his or her heirs will have the opportunity to do so. 

A fresh start 

Dr Muscat said this scheme would help separating couples start afresh. 

Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes said that to date, separating couples had no option other than to rent a property, since they could not afford to buy one. This new scheme gave them a choice. 

Family Minister Michael Falzon said measures such as this helped ease pressure from families going through difficulties.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said this was a new financial instrument which needs to be studied in detail before being implemented.  

The scheme will be operated by APS Bank under criteria it will establish.  www.socialaccommodation.gov.mt.

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