BEIRUT, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said the ministry aims to address the housing loans crisis in the country through subsidies, an independent online newspaper reported.
The government will allocate 100 billion Lebanese pounds (66.3 million U.S. dollars) to subsidize part of the interest rate on housing loans valued at 1,500 billion pounds for 5,000 housing units offered by the Public Corporation for Housing (PCH), the minister was quoted as saying by Elnashra.
PCH announced on July 8 that no applications for housing loans will be accepted from July 9.
The Central Bank of Lebanon usually funds housing loans though PCH and the banks. It provided commercial banks with a fund of 500 dollars in February to subsidize housing loans taken out by Lebanese citizens to buy apartments.
The fund, however, was drained within a month.
The commercial banks therefore offered housing loans with an interest rate of around six to seven percent compared to three percent for subsidized loans, making people hesitate to purchase real estates.