Taiwan expands rent subsidy program to benefit 500,000 households

03/31/2022 09:20 PM
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Taipei, March 31 (CNA) Taiwan's Cabinet on Thursday approved a NT$30 billion (US$1.05 billion) expanded housing rent subsidy program for the 2022 fiscal year which will increase the availability and amount of rent subsidies and is expected to benefit 500,000 applicants.

Under the expanded program approved during a Cabinet meeting, the number of successful applicants will be raised from the current 120,000 to 500,000 and the total subsidies available will be increased from NT$5.7 billion to NT$30 billion.

The new scheme relaxes eligibility criteria for housing rent subsidies, and increases subsidies to young singles, newlywed couples, families with minor children and socially and economically disadvantaged families, Deputy Minister of the Interior Hua Ching-chun (花敬群) told reporters.

According to the existing rent subsidy scheme, only those who earn less than 2.5 times the government-specified lowest cost of living per month in their city or county of residence who can prove they pay rent, and where none of their family members own their own home, are eligible to apply for a rent subsidy.

The new scheme would accept applicants who earn less than 3 times the lowest monthly cost of living on average in their city or county of residence, according to Hua.

Taking Taipei and New Taipei as examples, people who earn less than NT$56,046 and NT$47,400 per month on average, respectively, will be eligible to apply for the subsidy, Hua said.

In the outlying Kinmen and Lienchiang counties, people who earn less than NT$38,376 will qualify for the subsidy.

Meanwhile, under the new scheme, successful applicants under 35 years of age will receive 1.2 times the original monthly rent subsidy, while newlywed couples will get 1.3 times in the first two years of marriage.

Successful applicants from families with one minor child will receive 1.4 times the original monthly rent subsidy, while those with two 1.6 times and those with three 1.8 times, with 0.2 times added for each additional child thereafter.

Those from low or lower-middle income families will receive 1.4 times the original monthly rent subsidy and those from disadvantaged groups, including physically disabled or indigenous people, will get 1.2 times.

For instance, successful applicants from low or lower-middle income families in Taipei who currently receive a monthly subsidy of NT$8,000 will receive NT$11,200 under the new program.

A family with five underage children in Taipei who receive a monthly subsidy of NT$5,000 will receive NT$11,000, 2.2 times the amount under the existing scheme.

Applications for the new scheme will be accepted from July.

To encourage landlords to help tenants apply for the rent subsidy, tax breaks will be offered as an incentive, according to Hua.

There are 876,000 rental residences nationwide, Hua said, citing the 2020 national population and housing census.

(By Lai Yu-chen and Evelyn Kao)

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