DUBAI // Nearly 3,000 Emiratis will receive housing assistance worth Dh1.3 billion in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, the largest allotment approved this year.
Announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, to mark World Habitat Day, the assistance will come in the form of loans and grants in housing aid from the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme (SZHP).
“This instalment is the biggest of all payments that have been announced before,” said Dr Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works and chairman of the SZHP.
“This is an important indicator of the Government’s keenness to achieve the strategic goal of the programme to provide a decent life for all citizens and ensure highest standards of happiness.”
This batch of aid includes 2,854 names. Of those, 260 have obtained final approval for an estimated total of Dh130 million.
The SZHP offers interest-free loans to build a house, grants to assist in the buying, building or maintenance of a house, and builds government houses for applicants, who must meet the requirements to receive aid, which include a maximum income.
Among the 260 Emiratis approved yesterday, 154 were approved for loans – 65 in Ras Al Khaimah, 25 in Sharjah, 22 in Fujairah, 17 in Ajman, 16 in Dubai and nine in Umm Al Quwain.
Ninety UAE nationals were selected for housing grants – 34 in Ras Al Khaimah, 18 in Dubai, 17 in Sharjah, 10 in Fujairah, eight in Ajman, and three in Umm Al Quwain.
Some applicants received funds to complete projects that had already been started – six in Ras Al Khaimah, three in Ajman, two each in Sharjah, Dubai, Umm Al Quwain two and one in Fujairah.
The decisions were issued after the applicants completed all required procedures and submitted documents. The applications were reviewed by the Board of Directors of the programme, Dr Al Nuaimi said.
This is not only the largest batch of beneficiaries this year but it is also the largest total amount awarded.
Mohammed Mahmoud, acting executive director for the programme, urged citizens whose applications have been nominated for the study, to provide the required documents from the local authorities to ensure speedy completion of their applications and the completion of the procedures within the specified time period.
Mr Mahmoud said residents can get the required documents from the programme’s website or through any of its branches in Dubai, Fujairah or Ras Al Khaimah. Documents can also be delivered to Emirates Post centres.
Approved housing comes in 32 models and are designed in line with the UAE’s heritage, environment and culture. The models also come with small, medium and large space, Mr Mahmoud said.
SZHP has also looked to reduce the cost of construction by signing partnership agreements with building materials companies to offer discounted rates to the beneficiaries of the programme. About 108 companies, suppliers and producers of these basic materials for construction will offer discounts of up to 50 per cent.
Applications are judged using a points system. You receive 20 points if you live with family or rent a home, with another point for each child. The more points, the sooner an application is processed.
In August, Sheikh Mohammed approved Dh2.1 billion in grants to be handed out to 5,000 Emirati families by the end of the year. At that time, there were 28,000 applications for housing aid on the programme’s waiting list.
Issa Al Hosni, director of customer care, will coordinate with institutions and Government entities to accommodate the large numbers of dealers and to facilitate the receipt of documents.
Beneficiaries can also get updates on their applications through the call centre that works for 12 hours a day during official working days on 80092933 (ZAYED800).
The details of the application, documents, attestations can be obtained from the website of the centre at www.szhp.gov.ae.