Schemes have helped hundreds become homeowners

600 vulnerable families have become homeowners thanks to Housing Authority schemes

In the first three years since the establishment of the Ministry for Social and Affordable Housing there were almost 600 vulnerable families who became homeowners thanks to Housing Authority schemes. This means an average of one family every two days.

Deposit Scheme

In fact, between 2020 and 2023, there were 256 families who benefited from the Deposit Scheme. This scheme caters for persons under the age of 39 who are in a position to get a bank loan but who have not enough savings for the initial deposit. This scheme allows persons to qualify for loans for properties worth up to €225,000, because an interest-free personal loan is granted for the amount of the deposit, with a Government guarantee.

Equity Sharing Scheme

During the same period there were 245 families who benefited from the Equity Sharing Scheme. This scheme was initially intended for people of a certain age who separate from their spouse and end up being unable to qualify for a mortgage. But now the scheme has become open to anyone aged 30 and over. These 245 households were not able to take out a loan to buy property, most likely because they did not have sufficient income or because they would have other financial obligations. Through this scheme the Government engages as a partner in the purchase of the property and takes over the title of up to 50%. The family can buy out the Government’s share when they so wish, and the scheme covers properties up to a value of €250,000.

Social Loans Scheme

Finally, there were 97 families on the Social Loans Scheme. This assistance is given to people on low incomes, defined as below €19,718 for single persons, €20,718 for single parents, and €21,718 for couples. They receive a grant of up to €167 per month to compensate for part of the payment of a property loan.

A Central Bank of Malta study indicates that 59% of those in the bottom 20% of the income distirbution own their homes. In fact, the rate of home-ownership among low-income Maltese households is almost equal to the average for households across the euro area, which according to the European Central Bank is 60%.

It is more likely that a  Maltese low-income family owns the property that it resides in than it is likely, for istance, a middle-class family in Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Austria.

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