Cabinet approves rent subsidy fund decree
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The Cabinet has approved the draft decree to establish the rent subsidy fund issued by the Ministry of Finance (MoF). The fund subsidizes tenants under the old rent law who are unable to pay the fair value of their leases.

The government allocated $133 million for this fund in the last three years.

The fair lease value of apartments is four percent of an apartment’s value, as per the modification of the rental law in 2017.

The decree regarding the formation of the committees that will process the requests by tenants who need financial assistance was approved three months ago. Around 20 committees have been formed across the governorates. These committees will decide who can benefit from the fund and by how much. The committees are chaired by retired judges and include representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs and the MoF.

Following the modification of the new rent law in 2017, the number of beneficiaries of the fund widened, allowing households whose combined monthly income is less than $2,250 or five times the minimum wage, to seek the fund’s assistance with a 20 percent cover. Households whose combined monthly income is less than three times the minimum wage receive the fund’s assistance at a 100 percent cover.

According to the MoF, around 13,000 people benefit from the fund.

The establishment of the fund was delayed by four years and thus, tenants will pay the accumulated rental fees from the date of the ratification of the new rental law in 2014, according to Joseph Zoughaib, Head of the Syndicate of Owners of Leased Buildings.

The fund will be financed by built-property tax, municipal tax, and income tax and it will be in place for 12 years.
Reported by Gisele Khalaf
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Date Posted: Sep 18, 2019