New Hope Guarantee Scheme
We heard your concerns and worked to ensure your message was received. Following the work carried out by the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) and other stakeholders, the Government has launched the New Hope Guarantee Scheme.
New Hope Guarantee: Hope for young people who were finding the door closed due to disability
Social Accommodation Minister Roderick Galdes and the Minister for Inclusion and Social Wellbeing Julia Farrugia Portelli addressed a press conference on the New Hope Guarantee scheme, at the Aula Magna of the University of Malta in Belt Valletta.
Under the New Hope Guarantee scheme, the government will act as a guarantor to enable individuals with medical issues or disabilities to become homeowners. The government, through the Housing Authority, will be offering a guarantee that will cover a maximum loan of €250,000 on property that will be used as a primary residence.
Applicants who fail to obtain an insurance policy should apply for this scheme. The latter will be required to submit documentation from a doctor or specialist on their condition. The Housing Authority and the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability will verify the documents submitted to ensure that there is no abuse.
Minister Roderick Galdes explained how the New Hope guarantee has brought new optimism among young people who to date could not become homeowners due to disability or medical reasons; “I met a lot of people who explained that, due to their disability, found barriers when they came to purchase a property as they were not given a life policy. We did not only look at the needs of the majority, but we have also considered how the minority could be assisted and this minority today has new hope.”
This scheme is a proof of the government’s social soul, as everyone should have the opportunity to meet their aspirations. “This scheme is the epicenter of our values. With the aid offered by the state and the New Hope Guarantee we are being inclusive and offering hope to individuals suffering from any kind of disability because they too have the right to fulfil their dream of becoming homeowners, ” concluded Minister Galdes.
Minister for Inclusion and Social Wellbeing Julia Farrugia Portelli stated that the fact that it was almost entirely impossible for a disabled person to be issued with a life insurance policy to be able to turn to a commercial bank for a loan to purchase a residence was rendering a situation that excludes the disabled person from this facility.
“The word exclusion has no place in the government vocabulary, but quite the opposite. We strive for complete inclusion. The Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) has been working thoroughly to remove this anomaly. They worked hard to draw up a plan, after consultations with foreign entities, which was presented to the government and which eventually led to the creation of an inter-ministerial group and was part of the team that drafted the New Hope Guarantee scheme. The CRPD will remain involved in the implementation process by certifying the applicants’ eligibility according to the medical conditions stipulated and will be part of the advisory board which will continue to work to strengthen the scheme in terms of eligibility.”
Minister Farrugia Portelli concluded saying that, “It with great satisfaction that we are now, in line with the principle of inclusion, as a government delivering this facility to those who until recently were feeling excluded from what others benefited from. This is another measure that confirms the government’s determination that no one is left behind or feeling inferior to others.”
The Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability receives between two and three cases of this kind per year. Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with Disability Samantha Pace Gasan recalled that CRPD has been conducting research to address this anomaly so that people with disability and others can be recognized as consumers and have full access to the real estate market and become homeowners.
Housing Authority CEO Leonid McKay who was also present for the press conference said that as in other schemes they are committing to offer an expedited process in the New Hope scheme as well. He explained that immediately after providing the necessary documents, contact will be made with the Commission for Persons with Disability to carry out the necessary research.
If the applicant fulfills the conditions of the scheme, a letter of recommendation is issued to the bank to issue the guarantee on the value of €250,000 instead of the insurance policy requested by the commercial banks. Mr. McKay reiterated that social policy is not done according to those who shout the most but according to the person’s vulnerability. He concluded that instead of going for the easiest way and offering handouts, they found a different way to promote mobility rather than social dependence.
You can find all the information about the New Hope Guarantee Scheme here: https://housingauthority.gov.mt/en/Pages/Schemes/SKEMA-NEW-HOPE–SKEMA-TA%E2%80%99-GARANZIJA-(2021).aspx