Construction Ministry subsidies hit 357.5 million Sk
The Construction Ministry provided 357.5 million crowns for housing construction subsidies in the first five months of 2001, according to data released by the ministry at the beginning of the month.
The ministry designated 158.9 million crowns for construction of tenant apartments, which should secure construction of 416 apartment this year and 31 next year.
4,070 housing units built in five months of 2001
Construction of 4,070 housing units was completed in the first five months of 2001, a drop of 795 units from the year before, the Construction Ministry said June 15. The majority of the new housing was built in the Bratislava region.
During the January-May period, construction on 4,420 housing units began, an increase in construction projects of 73% year-on-year. Construction activity was again highest in Bratislava.
The lowest number of units on which construction was begun was in the Kosice region.
Construction on more than 15,000 houses and apartments is to be completed this year, a rise on the 12,900 finished last year. The 15,000 figure will include 3,000 rental apartments for low-income families.
The government provided 8.6 billion crowns for housing construction last year and has promised 7.3 billion in 2001.
Schmögnerová defends cuts for building savings
Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová June 14 defended in parliament a proposed cut of the state bonus for housing construction savings, part of the cabinet's 2002 framework budget.
The approved outline of the 2002 budget would see only two billion crowns earmarked for state bonuses in building savings. Critics of the proposal say that this sum will be used before June 30, 2002, and more than double will be needed before the end of the year.
According to Schmögnerová, even with the cut, depositors will receive 9% interest on building savings accounts (special accounts for people saving for property, money which is tax free) above rates offered by the commercial banks for term deposit accounts. Interest on building savings accounts last year reached 12%.
Compiled by Ed Holt from SITA