FNC member calls for quicker procedures to convert housing loans for Emiratis into grants

Minister says decisions regrading repayments of housing loans are taken by the Cabinet



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File photo
by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Tue 24 May 2022, 9:23 PM

A member of the Federal National Council (FNC) has requested for quick measures to convert the housing loans for Emiratis into housing grants in case of emergencies for retirees and families of deceased mortgagors.

During the FNC meeting on Tuesday, Naama Al Mansoori, chairperson for the FNC Committee on Social Affairs, Labour, Population and Human Resources, said government should consider taking swift measures to convert housing loans into housing grants for citizens, in certain cases, including changing the conditions of the beneficiary, which contributes to alleviating the financial burden on families and achieving social stability.

She explained that whether the beneficiary is a retiree/pensioner or a senior citizen their situation hinders the commitment to repay the loan due to the emergency developments.

“This leads to the retirees and the families of deceased mortgagors bear financial burdens that exceed their income or financial status and there are always arrears in the repayment of housing loan instalments,” Al Mansoori said.

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She was addressing her proposal to Suhail bin Muhammad Faraj Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure.

In his response, the minister said housing loan repayments are not within the jurisdiction of the ministry in general, but the decision has to be made by the Cabinet.

“The government deals with the file of housing grants, exemptions and facilities with absolute transparency, in the interest of citizens,” said Al Mazrouei.

UAE nationals who have worked for at least 15 years and lived in the UAE for a decade or longer can apply for loans ranging from Dh500,000 to Dh2.25 million from the government. These are for buying a home or a plot of land upon which to build a house.

This loan is repaid over the remainder of their lives but can sometimes be waived if a directive is issued. Typically, these directives exempt retired or low-income Emiratis from paying back the loan.

The loans are distributed by the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme. An alternative scheme is run by the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com


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