State-backed housing loans help 1,000 families

The state-backed housing loan program for families with children, which was restarted this year, has already helped some 1,000 families. According to estimates, another 800 families could get state backing from the program, reported Latvian Radio Monday.

Within the program, the state acts as a guarantor for part of the downpayment. The government-guaranteed part is 10 to 20 percent from the housing value, depending on the number of children in the family. Thus the state helps families bring down the time required to save for the downpayment, which is typically 25-30% of the total sum.

Juris Cebulis from the Altum Program Development Department said that 590 of the guarantees were given to single-child families, 326 to two-children families, and 84 to families with three children or more. Latvian Radio reported that the demand for these guarantees has been five times larger than the estimate.

The program will last until March 2016 and it's expected that it'll serve 800 more people, about €700,000 more will be required to fund it. The financing comes from residence permits, said Mārtiņš Auders, head of the Housing Policy Department at the Economics Ministry.

A total of €6.2m have been guaranteed by the state, and six banks have taken part in the program.

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