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Economy

Greece Plans Affordable Housing for Young Families, Unemployed

ATHENS – Hoping to provide an incentive for people to have children with the population shrinking, the New Democracy government – ahead of 2023 elections – said it will try to provide affordable housing for them and the unemployed.

State Minister Akis Skertsos said the details will be given by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Thessaloniki International Fair in September, the traditional time for politicians seeking votes to announce handouts.

The scheme will be operated through the Public Employment Service (DYPA, formerly OAED) and reportedly will include using a big chunk of real estate holdings the agency has.

Funding will come from a 1.5 billion euro ($1.51 billion) reserve fund that now can be used for initatives that include initiatives for buying and building real estate and subsidizing loans or rents, said Kathimerini.

Labor Minister Kostis Hatzidakis told Skai TV the target is mainly young couples who’ve given up trying to buy homes with prices soaring out of sight as the COVID-19 pandemic further wanes and demand is rising.

“It is one of the reasons why young couples do not have children,” he noted, although the joblessness rate has begun falling and some companies say they are having trouble filling positions.

It will also benefit young couples who are low and middle-income earners, the unemployed and students assigned to universities from far home and have to pay rent they find difficult to afford.

It’s expected, the report said, that DYPA would begin construction, reconstruction and concession-rental of social housing through public-private partnerships, rent subsidies and grants for the acquisition of first homes with subsidized loans.

Another part of the plan is a scheme in which people could rent apartments for a time with the possibility of buying them before the end of their lease, in so-called rent-to-own homes.

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