Rent assistance available for social housing from July
Applications for a welfare payments to help low-paid workers pay their rent will open this July in an attempt to help around 61,000 households, despite an estimated 390,000 households in need of financial support, ahead of applications for social housing units opening, said Interior Minister Chen Wei-zen ( ) yesterday.
During an interpellation session at the Legislature, Chen stated that as of now, there are only around 7,000 units of social housing available nationwide despite the more than 390,000 disadvantaged households, which shows a huge gap between supply and demand.
Before opening applications for social housing to the public, the government will turn to rent assistant payments to allow disadvantaged people to live independently, Chen said. He stated that not all underprivileged people require social housing.
Chen also stated that in the past, rent assistance was paid out to around 20,000 households per year — however according to government statistics, 50,000 more households require it.
In a report for Premier Mao Chi-kuo ( ), Chen said that the government did not intend to increase the payment it would give to households, but instead increase the number of households it would support through the payment.
This year’s application cap for rent assistance is set at 61,000, with each household eligible for assistance of between NT$3,000 and NT$5,000 monthly, depending on the area in which the social housing is in, Chen explained.
“For example, since rent in Taipei City is much higher, rent assistance has been raised to NT$5,000.” Chen said. The new regulations for applications will come into force in July.
On the other hand, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Finance have agreed on terms to inject a certain percentage of the dues from the consoli- dated housing and land tax into the housing funds, in order to help alleviate the burden of paying rent for youth and disadvantaged families.
Six Municipalities United in
Social Housing Demands
Democratic Progressive Party ( DPP) Legislator Chuang Rueihsiung ( ) also invited representatives from the six municipalities nationwide during the Internal Administration Committee’s interpellation session.
The six representatives all cited their united demand for more funding and land to construct local social housing projects. The central government holds land in the six municipalities and the municipal representatives expressed their hope that the government could set apart those lands for the municipalities’ usage free of charge.
However, due to the Ministry of National Defense’s (MND,
) need to pay off its debts in the Refurbishment of Military Depen- dents’ Compound Funds, the MND will begin selling another 36 plots of land in select areas, on top of 12 that have already been sold, according to the Armament Bureau’s ( ) representative.
Attention upon the MND-owned lands began after the selling of the land on Yijiang Block (
) at a high price at the end of March. The six municipalities’ therefore hoped to acquire lands without going through public auction or bringing up the real estate prices.