Muscat: Dr Khalfan Said al Shuaili, Minister of Housing and Urban Planning, issued Decision No 9/2023 amending Article (18) of the previous ministerial decision No 6/2011 on the value of housing assistance offered to entitled citizens. The decision reflects the ministry’s concern for needy segments of society that are beneficiaries of the Social Housing Programme serving families of the disabled and social security families.
According to the decision, eligible families consisting of 2 to three members are entitled to RO 25,000 housing assistance to build or reconstruct a residence. This is in condition that the constructed area is not less than 140 sqm, and in case the beneficiary contributes towards the value, the area should not be more than 250 sqm.
The value of housing assistance is set at RO 30,000 for eligible families consisting of 4 or more members, provided the area of the constructed residence (to be built or reconstructed) shall not be less than 190 sqm. In the event of a beneficiaries contributing towards the value, the area shall not be more than 300 sqm.
The decision applies to all cases that have not been financially bound until its date.
Article (18) of the previous ministerial decision No 6/2011 had set the value of the housing assistance at a maximum of RO 20,000 and allowed the minister to raise the value of the housing assistance for those inhabiting areas with difficult terrain.
The new ministerial decision seeks to cement social ties and enhance the stability of families, besides consolidating partnership and cooperation with the private sector. The step also takes into consideration current demographic and economic developments like the high value of building materials, the value added tax (VAT) and improving the quality of the residences.
In 2019, the number of beneficiaries of the Housing Assistance Programme stood at more than 1,000 families with a total cost of more than RO 41 million.
In 2020, the number of beneficiaries stood at 600 families to the tune of more than RO 15 million.
In 2021, the number of beneficiaries stood at 1,261 families with a total cost of more than RO 30 million.
In 2022, the number of beneficiaries stood at 1,478 families with a total cost of more than RO 35 million.