Housing Help for 1M Spaniards

December 18th, 2008

Spain’s government is to help home-seekers buy or rent one million homes in the next four years, it said on Friday, as it seeks fiscal catalysts as well as props for the hard-hit housing sector.

Under the plan, which was approved by the cabinet on Friday, Spain will spend 10.1 billion euros ($13.4 billion) to help the poorest families, the elderly, young people, the disabled and victims of domestic violence find a home through a system of subsidies to developers.

It also throws a lifeline to Spain’s struggling builders who have seen revenues crumble following a shuddering halt to a decade-long boom.

That, added to a lack of credit, could see many more go the way of Martinsa Fadesa — at one time Spain’s biggest builder — which filed for administration earlier this year.

The Housing Ministry said in a statement that the plan dedicated a third more than the plan’s previous draft and would increase the number of homes available by roughly 380,000 as Spain looks to infrastructure projects to head off what analysts forecast will be its worst recession in 50 years during 2009.

Spain has announced fiscal stimulus totalling over 50 billion euros of tax breaks, low-cost loans and public works spending.

Story from CNBC

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