Emiratis list challenges they face in getting housing grants
The UAE nationals presented their concerns during a virtual forum hosted by a Federal National Council committee
Emirati beneficiaries of the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme have listed out the challenges they face in obtaining housing grants and loans. These included long waiting periods for application approval and lack of a “periodical mechanism” to evaluate the social conditions of those eligible for grants.
The UAE nationals presented their concerns during a recent virtual forum that was organised by the Federal National Council (FNC) Committee on Islamic Affairs and Endowments and Public Utilities.
Other challenges specified were difficulties faced by citizens who have defaulted on payments to obtain exemptions; and converting housing loans into grants in the event of retirement or a pay cut. Some Emiratis also said the housing programme rejected most of the requests for senior citizens, under the pretext that they haven’t reached the age of 60.
Citizens also raised the issue of the absence of a proper mechanism to study the possibility of revising the monthly deductions for beneficiaries in certain categories.
Housing applications of female citizens married to expatriates and whose monthly salary exceeds Dh20,000 were being rejected, the committee was told.
The participants in the forum also presented proposals. This included the provision of financial grants for applicants wanting to construct “green and sustainable” houses that contribute to saving electricity and water consumption. They also suggested that only “reliable and reputable contractors” be hired so as to reduce the delay in completion and delivery of housing projects.
Naameh Abdul Rahman Al Mansoori, chairperson of the committee, said it was keen on understanding the “most important challenges facing citizens regarding the services provided by the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme”. The committee studies problems faced by the beneficiaries in the housing sector and how they are being addressed; and the challenges the beneficiaries face in terms of support and financial deductions provided by the programme.
The committee has adopted some recommendations that will be discussed by the FNC members with representatives of the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme:
> Introducing amendments to the housing programme and its electronic application system
> Reviewing the monthly deductions so that they match with the economic variables and cost of living
> Reviewing the status of low-income earners and social welfare grantees
> Granting more housing loans to citizens with more than one wife
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