First-time buyers’ scheme: Almost all eligible households applied for €10,000 grant

1,700 households were eligible for the scheme, and almost all of them applied for the €10,000 grant • First cheques will be handed out this month

Almost all households eligible for the first-time buyers’ scheme have applied to receive the €10,000 grant, which will be paid out to them over 10 years.

Successful applicants will receive their first €1,000 cheque from the scheme this month – the first of 10 instalments over a 10-year period.

There were around 1,700 households eligible to apply for the scheme this year.

The scheme was a Labour Party electoral pledge in the 2022 general election. It gives young couples buying their first home €1,000 each year for the first 10 years of their purchase.

The property’s value cannot exceed €500,000.

This applies to every purchase carried out from 1 January 2022, and is not subject to a means test. The measure is carried out with all commercial banks which operate in Malta and Gozo, which offer loans for residential properties.

Affordable housing foundation aims to be self-sufficient

A new foundation being set up to provide affordable housing to those with a low to median income will be self-sufficient and at arm’s length from the government.

“Today, affordable housing is not viable,” its CEO Jake Azzopardi said on Monday. “[The foundation] has to operate in a commercial environment, and so is a new actor in the market.”

The foundation aims to provide housing to those who are not welfare-dependent enough to quality for social housing, but are still not in a financial situation that allows them to enter the free housing market without help.

Azzopardi said one of the key solutions to the rental market in Malta is vacant housing. No details were given as to how the foundation will operate and how it intends building its own stock of properties to be offered at below-market rates to eligible candidates.