Tue, Apr 29, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Newlywed home subsidy program divides opinions

HOME SWEET HOME:While some newlyweds responded positively to the idea of a rent-subsidy program, others said it would not encourage more people to get married

By Lai Hsiao-tung  /  Staff reporter

As many young couples have become increasingly reluctant to marry for financial reasons, the New Taipei City Government recently came up with a rent-subsidy program for couples aged between 20 and 40 who married within the past two years or have children.

According to the city government, the program is scheduled to start next year on a trial basis for 100 households, providing each with a subsidy of NT$2,400 per month.

Public response to the policy has been varied, with some saying that they “would not just decide to get married for NT$2,400 a month,” while others said that the intention behind the policy is very good, and would help to cover for insufficient rental subsidy from the central government.

New Taipei City Department of Urban and Rural Acting Director Chiu Ching-pin (邱敬斌) said that because many young people complain about sky-rocketing real-estate prices in the nation’s urban areas, the city government has implemented different rent-subsidy programs since 2011 in an effort to ease the economic burden on young couples.

Architecture and Construction Division boss Chang Shou-wen (張壽文) said that applicants must be between the ages of 20 and 40, study or work in New Taipei City and have wed within the past two years, or have children.

In addition, the applicants’ annual family income must fall below the city’s average, and none of their family members can own a house in Taipei or in New Taipei City, Chang said, adding that potential applicants should file their applications with a copy of their rental agreements.

Chang added that the city government would provide subsidies for a year, and if there are more than 100 applicants, it would draw lots to select recipients for the subsidy.

Lin Yi-chun (林怡君), a 29-year-old newlywed elementary school teacher said that housing is not the only consideration when deciding whether to get married, and not many people are likely to marry for the NT$2,400 monthly subsidy alone.

“It may be more practical to subsidize a down payment [to buy a home],” Lin said.

Lung Te-tien (龍得天), 31, said that the NT$2,400 subsidy is sufficient.

Lung added he buying a house of his own was still his ultimate goal.

Liu Yu-tan (劉玉丹), 29, said that she rents a suite for NT$7,500 a month, and therefore the NT$2,400 subsidy would be a significant amount.

She added that the rent-subsidy would only help temporarily because she would still want to buy a house at some point.

However, Organization of Urban REs secretary-general Peng Yang-kai (彭揚凱) said that he would be happy to see the New Taipei City Government subsidy in place because it could make up for the insufficient subsidies for couples from the central government.

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