Edited by AM
The various stimulus of the new housing plan, developed by Maurizio Lupi, Minister for Infrastructure, covers initiatives to promote lower taxes on negotiated rents, strong incentives for social housing, and funding for renovations. In total €1.6 billion has been allocated to the plan and below is a summary of its main points:
Right to Buy: the plan provides for agreements with regional and local authorities to allow former tenants to buy their local authority houses. The proceeds will be used to build new housing and preserve existing ones. Up to a maximum of €18.9 million will be available during the period 2015-2020 and this will act as an endowment fund that will facilitate the financing for purchases. The plan also provides for the use of up to €10,000 euros of tax credits for the purchase of furniture even if the cost of the renovations is lower than this amount.
Rent Arrears and Hardship Fund: €200 million has been allocated from the National Fund to help those tenants who are facing economic hardship (100 this year and 100 in 2015). This is an increase on the previous allocated amount which was €100 million. Funding for those in rent arrears will be €241.4 million euros for the period 2014 to 2020, with €19.6 million allocated for this year;
Guarantee Fund for Rent: the municipalities and regions will enable agencies to facilitate the recovery and refurbishment of accommodation that can then be offered for an agreed rent, matching supply and demand, while providing guarantees to owners who will rent;
Illegally occupied homes: strict sanctions will be applied to those illegally occupying a property. They will not, for example, be able to ask for a residency or connection to public utilities;
Homes to Buy: to facilitate access to the property ladder, after at least seven years from the signing of a lease, it is expected that the tenant will be able to redeem the lease against the future purchase of social housing. This social housing stimulus it is expected to increase supply with the added advantage of ‘fast tracking’ issues such as change of use without restoration work.