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Social Housing in Europe


Brussels, 27 March 2010 | Published in Research

What is social housing?

There is no social rental housing in Cyprus. The Government has, from time to time, implemented a number of housing schemes with the purpose of assisting various social groups, but there has been no comprehensive policy framework to date. In particular, the division of the island into the Greek and Turkish areas in 1974 has led to a variety of atypical tenure categories, such as refugees’ state, a Turkish Cypriot house, and self-help schemes aimed at refugees. Housing of the population who have not been affected by the enforced division and displacement is mainly provided by the private sector, but a number of low-cost housing schemes have also been introduced since the 1980s, aimed mainly at supporting low to middle income families acquiring a home.

Who provides social housing?

In order to support and supplement the private sector, the Government established in 1982 the Cyprus Land Development Corporation (C.L.D.C.) and the Housing Finance Corporation (H.F.C.). The objectives of the two corporations are respectively to supply building plots or houses at reasonable prices and provide long-term housing loans with lower interest rates for low-income groups. Furthermore, today 13,500 refugee-households are still living free of charge in housing estates constructed and maintained by the government.

How is it financed?

Assistance may be in the form of a long-term low-interest loan, a grant or a rent subsidy, as well as tax benefits.

Who can access social housing?

Displaced families and refugees, low-income families and persons living in disadvantaged areas have been the main target groups of most current housing schemes. New housing schemes have also been introduced for a wider range of target groups including large families, low-income families including recipients of public assistance, and persons with disabilities.