Affordable housing funded from casino revenue

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Some 15% of state revenue from the soon-to-be operational new casino resort will help build affordable government housing.

The Cyprus Land Development Corporation’s 2022 budget will rise to €11.6 mln from about €3 mln in 2021 to build more than 800 housing units, to be allocated either through affordable housing or through the new affordable rent plan for low-income households.

Europe’s largest Integrated Casino Resort (ICR), Limassol’s City of Dreams Mediterranean, will open in the summer.

The €550 mln casino complex’s opening was scheduled for launch by the end of 2021 before the pandemic struck, triggering national lockdowns.

Government spokesperson Marios Pelekanos said the overall expenditure for implementing the housing policy was also discussed at a meeting chaired by President Nicos Anastasiades and the ministers of Finance, Interior, Labour, Energy, Trade and Deputy Minister of Welfare.

The government’s housing policy cover a total expenditure of €125 mln, double that of 2018 and an increase of 22.4% compared to 2021.

Housing plans for 2022 include €15 mln for the Revitalisation of Mountainous and Disadvantaged Areas and the Countryside, €62 mln for housing plans for displaced persons, €22 mln for rent and mortgage interest subsidies, €11.6 mln for CLDC and €12 mln for rent subsidies for around 3,000 beneficiaries of the Minimum Guaranteed Income (MGA).

In addition to the budget, non-monetary benefits, such as the free allocation of land to young couples facing financial difficulties, will also be considered.

Allocating funds for the Estia scheme, expected to benefit about 800 distressed borrowers with the total state contribution of €200 mln, was also discussed.

Moreover, the application process for the “Oikia” plan for borrowers who have taken out loans with government funds with a mortgage on their first home is currently underway.

Interest rate subsidies will benefit 4,750 households, which will borrow a total of €700 mln to purchase the first home.

Some 2,300 applications have been submitted to upgrade the energy efficiency of homes, with a total grant of €35 mln.

The Ministry of Interior will announce details of the upgraded Housing Plan for the Revitalisation of Mountainous and Disadvantaged Areas and the Countryside.