An aid scheme for under 40s who cannot afford to put down a home loan deposit has helped 213 people become homeowners so far, Housing Minister Roderick Galdes said on Friday. 

The Home Deposit Scheme, which was launched last year, offers people who cannot afford the 10 per cent down payment necessary for a home loan an interest-free loan of up to €17,500 to use for that purpose. Applicants must be under 40 years old and must also qualify for a home loan with a local bank. 

Many of those who apply for the scheme are furthering their education and therefore not in a position to save up for a home loan deposit.

Speaking at a press conference, Galdes said that 213 people had become homeowners through the scheme so far, with another 70 people close to signing contracts of sale.

A total of 323 applications have been received for the scheme since it first began in June 2020, with successful applicants getting an average loan of  €15,992. 

Galdes said the scheme was close to his heart as it was helping young adults get onto the property ladder.

Housing Authority CEO Leonid McKay said that 63 per cent of applicants were aged under 30, with many opting for properties in Fgura, Żabbar, Tarxien, St Paul’s Bay and Birkirkara. 

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