BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Khalil allocates funds to cover part of housing fund deficit

Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil.(The Daily Star / Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil Thursday allocated $6 million to cover part of the Housing Institute's deficit.

"The allocation of the LL10 billion [$6 million] comes as a primary issue, given the importance of continuing housing loans to middle-class families and low-income citizens in such circumstances of pressing socio-economic needs,” Khalil said in statement.

“This also comes as part of a larger, serious discussion with banks to plan a medium-term funding process [to address problems].”

The $6 million allocation would cover only 20 percent of the state-run institute’s debt, estimated at around $40 million.

Khalil said he would allocate more funds to the institute in order to cover the entire debt, pending a study by its general director, Rony Lahhoud, on the fund's conditions and needs.

The fund helps low-income families to take out housing loans for 30 years, with the interest rate for the first 15 years subsidized by private banks.

Last month, the institute called upon borrowers from the housing fund to settle their dues as soon as possible in order to avoid being prosecuted.

It added that the institute considers this reminder as a warning, saying that borrowers can settle the debt by rescheduling their payments.

 

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