Fri, Jun 21, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Rent subsidy plan to be implemented

LET IT BE:By allowing those who earn less than 2.5 times the lowest cost of living to apply, the scheme would cover those in the bottom 35th percentile of earners

By Lee Hsin-fang and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka speaks during a news conference at the Executive Yuan in Taipei in an undated photograph.

Photo: Taipei Times

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said that he would approve a pilot scheme to offer rent subsidies to single people, newlyweds and families with children younger than 20 who earn less than 2.5 times the government-specified lowest cost of living.

The scheme, aimed at encouraging marriage and childbirth, would benefit 24,000 single men and women, couples or families, Su said while presiding over an Executive Yuan meeting in Taipei.

Applications would be accepted from September, he said.

The subsidies would target single men and women between 20 and 40, couples who have been married less than two years and couples with children under the age of 20, Deputy Minister of the Interior Hua Ching-chun (花敬群) told reporters after the meeting.

Under the scheme, which was proposed by the Ministry of the Interior, couples would receive NT$3,000 to NT$5,000 (US$96 to US$160) and individuals would receive NT$2,600 to NT$4,000 in rent subsidies per month depending on the city or county in which they live, he said.

Qualified applicants in Taipei would receive the highest amount, with couples to receive NT$5,000 per month and individuals to receive NT$4,000, he said.

In Taichung, New Taipei City, Taoyuan and Hsinchu, couples and individuals could expect monthly subsidies of NT$4,000 and NT$3,200 respectively; those in Tainan and Kaohsiung would receive NT$3,200 and NT$2,600; and recipients in all other cities and counties could expect NT$3,000 and NT$2,600, he said.

Whereas only individuals who earn less than 1.5 times the lowest cost of living are eligible for an existing rent subsidy scheme, the new scheme would accept applicants who earn less than 2.5 times the lowest cost of living per month per person, he said.

In other terms, families with annual household incomes in the lowest 35th percentile — instead of the lowest 20th percentile — would be eligible, he added.

Using Taipei and New Taipei City as examples, he said that people who earn less than NT$41,450 and NT$36,665 per month on average respectively would be eligible.

Subsidies would be distributed starting in November, he said, adding that the scheme, which is expected to run for one year, would cost about NT$1.1 billion.

The lowest cost of living in Taipei and New Taipei City were set at NT$16,580 and NT$14,666 respectively this year, while the national average — excluding Kinmen and Lienchiang counties — is NT$12,388, according to the Department of Social Assistance and Social Work’s Web site.

Also at the meeting, Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) reported on the progress of a plan to build 200,000 social housing units in eight years.

More than 27,000 units have been completed or are under construction, with the number expected to rise to 35,000 by the end of this year and surpass a first-stage target of 40,000 by the end of next year, he said.

Through collaboration with local governments, the central government is confident that it would reach its goal on schedule, he added.

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