Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Record Number of Applications Filed for Subsidised Housing Loans

ZAGREB, 26 April 2022 - The relevant APN agency has received a record 5,870 applications for subsidised housing loans and Construction, Physical Planning and State Assets Minister Ivan Paladina has announced additional funds for all the applications that will be approved.

Applications could be filed from 21 March to 22 April and in this, the seventh round, a new record number were filed. In the previous round, 4,739 were filed, a record at the time.

The government has set aside HRK 50 million for this purpose, but given the interest, Paladina said more funds would be necessary and that he discussed it with Finance Minister Zdravko Marić over the weekend.

"It was agreed that the funds will be ensured, so no one need worry as to whether there will be enough funds for all the applications that will be approved," he said in a press release.

Paladina said the subsidised house scheme would be analysed this year, taking into account the comments of real estate experts, notably regarding price hikes.

The record number of applications shows the importance of the scheme "whereby we are helping young families buy a home," he added.

The average approved subsidised loan is €78,000, the average repayment period is 22 years, and the average age of the beneficiary is 32.

The effective interest is 2.08% and the monthly instalment is HRK 3,035, including a HRK 1,020 subsidy, the ministry said.

In March, APN signed agreements on subsidised housing loans with 14 banks.

The eligibility criteria for applicants is that they are under 45 and that they are first-home buyers. Calculating the amount of subsidy depends on the location of the property covered by the scheme. Applicants in locations in underdeveloped and rural areas qualify for higher subsidisation.

In the families that use housing loan subsidies, roughly 5,000 children have been born since 2017, when the scheme was launched. Since then, more than 22,000 applications have been approved.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more, make sure to check out our business section.

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

New Construction Minister Owns Many Properties, Has Two Big Loans

ZAGREB, 5 April 2022 - According to new Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets Minister Ivan Paladina's declaration of assets, he has a monthly income of HRK 114,500, owns a flat in Zagreb and numerous building plots in the Slavonia region, and has two loans, one of HRK 10.1 million and one of €305,000.

Paladina's monthly pay is HRK 18,432 net and each month he also receives HRK 19,276 and 76,500 from assets and property rights.

He also has receivables from a security totalling HRK 19.4 million.

The new minister owns a flat in Zagreb worth HRK 2.72 million which he bought with a loan as well as four smaller properties, three worth HRK 123,000 each and one worth HRK 22,000.

The value of the building plots in Slavonia is estimated at almost €1 million.

Furthermore, Paladina owns a 10% stake in Kupari Luxury Hotels and is the sole owner of the Delta consulting company. Management rights in both will be transferred within the legal deadline.

Paladina's wife is employed in Delta, where her monthly pay is HRK 4,000 net. Each month she also receives HRK 19,276 from assets and property rights.

The couple own an office building in Zagreb estimated at over HRK 6 million, a flat estimated at over HRK 1 million, and a yard estimated at HRK 1.25 million. Their savings total HRK 1.25 million.

Paladina also owns a vessel estimated at HRK 255,000 and his wife a Mercedes estimated at HRK 90,000.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Minister: Integral Plan to Be Presented, Reconstruction to Be Stepped Up in Mid-April

ZAGREB, 22 March 2022 - Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets Minister Ivan Paladina said on Tuesday that an integral plan for reconstruction after the March 2020 earthquake in Zagreb and ways to step it up would be presented in mid-April.

"The plan will include concrete steps, a clear dynamic of the reconstruction process over the next 12 months and in the period after that. I believe that by stepping up current processes we will manage to open several hundred construction sites by the end of the summer," the minister said.

As for Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević's statement that there was no more time to wait and that reconstruction had to start, Paladina said that reconstruction was a joint effort and that after disasters like earthquakes, reconstruction "lasts five, six or many more years."

A reporter remarked that the profession had identified slow state administration as the main cause of the slow reconstruction process, to which Paladina said that they were working on that problem, as well as thinking about how to facilitate the process of public procurement.

As for non-structural reconstruction in Zagreb, the minister said that work on the first buildings would start relatively soon, in a month or two.

"There are some 30 apartment buildings in downtown Zagreb and tenders for reconstruction work on them will be published very soon," Paladina said.

He said that applications would soon be invited for the post of director of the Reconstruction Fund, calling on all candidates who meet the employment terms to apply, adding that he did not believe the selection process would additionally slow down the reconstruction process.

The minister also said that he would soon propose that the government should continue paying rent for people who had to move out of their properties damaged in the earthquake.

Saturday, 12 March 2022

Medved: Post-Earthquake Reconstruction in Banovina Hasn't Stopped Once

ZAGREB, 12 March 2022 - Post-earthquake reconstruction in Banovina has not stopped even once, 29 family houses are being built and next week the contractors for ten blocks of flats will be known, the head of the task force dealing with the aftermath of the 2020 earthquake, Tomo Medved, said in Petrinja on Saturday.

"At no moment has the reconstruction process been stopped or brought into question, despite all the circumstances cased by Russia's aggression on Ukraine," he told the press after a task force meeting which was attended for the first time by the new Construction Minister Ivan Paladina.

Medved said he was confident that reconstruction would intensify following Paladina's appointment and that citizens "waiting to return to their homes will be satisfied."

Paladina said he was detecting the obstacles to reconstruction and that they were being dealt with. Construction has begun on ten replacement houses and soon there will be 30, he added.

Sisak-Moslavina County prefect Ivan Celjak said the county had submitted 68 projects worth HRK 700 million to the Solidarity Fund, with 52 projects for the construction of 40 houses, 12 roads, 20 medical facilities, 11 schools and nine cultural facilities.

Asked by the press if a possible investigation into his previous activities was an aggravating circumstance, Paladina said he was focused on the work ahead.

Reporters asked Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milošević if he had become a burden to the post-earthquake reconstruction process due to a possible investigation into incentive allocations.

He said it was not a pleasant situation but that, as a public figure, he must be ready to deal with such a burden and that he would continue to contribute to the reconstruction process.