19th September 2007
MADRID – AFP – The Spanish government on Tuesday unveiled a financial aid package designed to help youngsters struggling to find their feet in the rental market.
The soaring price of property and rents is set to be an electoral issue moving towards a general election scheduled for next March and Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced the government intended to get to grips with the issue.
Zapatero and Housing Minister Carme Chacon revealed aid of 210 euros (300 dollars) a month would be paid from next January 1 to all youngsters aged between 22 and 30 with income below an annual gross threshold of 22,000 euros.
The sum will be paid for four years and the measure will cost the state an estimated 436 million euros.Young adults will also be able to benefit from a state loan of 600 euros towards their deposit.
Last year, thousands of young people demonstrated across Spain to demand affordable housing amid a property boom that has priced many people out of the market amid a decade-long construction boom which has seen property prices soar more than 150 percent.
Those who have managed to clamber onto the housing ladder have had to take out mortgages lasting their entire working lives.
Young people are particularly hit with low wages forcing them to live with their parents into their 30s.
The government also plans to allow all Spanish renters whose annual revenues are less than 24,000 euros, to benefit in similar fashion from tax cuts as property buyers from next January, in a measure set to cost 348 million euros in lower tax receipts.