x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

877 Emirati families get one step closer to receiving house aid

This is the fourth batch of names announced as part of a plan by the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme to provide billions in housing assistance.

Nearly 900 additional Emirati families are one step closer to receiving funding for their housing.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, approved Dh 1.33 billion in housing aid earlier this week, and the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme released 877 names eligible for review.

This is the fourth batch of six groups of applicants the programme is intending to announce in coming months.

The names released in August included 900 citizens approved for final review, with an additional 880 applicants announced earlier that month.

Maryam Murad, 42, from Ajman, whose name recently came up, was surprised at how fast she was able to get to this stage.

“I thought it would take at least 15 years for me to get this approval,” said the mother of seven who put in her application in 2008.

“I was so happy to see my name come up as we are currently renting a house in Abu Dhabi.”

Ms Murad said the housing aid she was hoping to receive from the Government would go a long way to getting her and her family a place they can call their own.

Another UAE citizen who was pleased to be included on the lists was Fahd Jasim, 38, of Dubai.

The father of three had initially applied for the grant in 2003.

“I would have received it much earlier but I was only able to update my file eight months ago,” Mr Jasim said.

“Eight months is a short time to wait for something as significant as this.”

Mr Jasim said although he had travelled to many countries, he felt lucky to be a citizen of the UAE.

“Where else are you going to find a country with a government which helps their citizens out so much? Now I don’t have to deal with bank loans and the added fees and hassle they come with.”

Currently living with his extended family, Mr Jasim said he was looking forward to having his own house.

“The whole process of the application is very easy. The programme even sends you an SMS to remind you and update you on your application.

“If anything is missing I find out about it right away.”

UAE nationals who are eligible for the housing aid must not own a suitable house for their families, must not have received housing aid from any government authority for 15 years, must be the breadwinners of the family and have insufficient income and assets to own decent housing.

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.

This latest batch includes applications filed between 2006 and the end of 2009.

Emiratis who get to the final review stage are required to complete the necessary documentation before being granted final approval before the end of the year.

talsubaihi@thenational.ae