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Thursday 8 November 2007

Spain, Rental Assitance Programme for Young People


Young people aged 22 to 30 can get:

210 euros a month to pay their house rent for as long as four years.
You can save 2,520 euros a year on your rent, and a total 10,080 euros in four years.
A 600-euro loan for your rent deposit.
This money must be returned when your rental contract ends or when you stop getting the assistance money.
If you need a rental guarantee, 120 euros for bank charges.
This covers most of your initial rental costs. Altogether, you can save 930 euros in the first month, with the loan's 600 euros, the 120 euros for the guarantee, and the 210 euros of the first monthly payment.

What requirements should I fulfil?

You have to be 22 to 30 years old (the assistance stops at 30).
Young people aged 22 to 30 are the group having the most serious difficulty in leaving their parents' homes.
You have to have a regular source of income, and your annual gross income has to be lower than 22,000 euros. This includes autonomous workers(1), research grant holders, and unemployment or disability benefit holders.
If your net monthly income is roughly 1,500 euros, then you can apply for assistance. 8 out of 10 young people in the labour market are in this situation.
You have to provide evidence that you have been in the labour market for at least six months before your application, or that your source of income will last for at least six months after your application.
If you have been working for the past six months, authorities will check this with social security. If you will be working for the next six months (and thus have a regular income), you must submit a copy of your labour contract.
You have to be your rent's contract holder.
You have to be one of the parties signing the contract for your rented home.
Non-EU citizens should be legal permanent residents in Spain.
If you are a foreign citizen, you need to hold a permanent residence permit, which you are granted after residing legally in Spain for five uninterrupted years.
(1)Applicants to the rental assistance programme with a business, professional or artistic source of income can deduct the programme procedure charges from their net income when calculating it.

What are the assistance programme's characteristics?

The assistance can be granted for as long as four years, but they do not need to be consecutive.
This means that you can split the assistance payments. For instance, you can stop getting help after three years, and then, if you still comply with the requirements, reapply for it for the remaining year.
There can only be one benefit per rented home. The assistance would reach those young tenants who are already renting their homes.
If there is more than one tenant signing a rental contract, the assistance will be divided by the number of the eligible candidates.
For instance, if you are sharing your flat with a friend and you have both signed your rental contract and both meet the programme's requirements, then each of you will get 105 euros a month.If you need a rental guarantee, you will get an extra 120 euros for bank charges. -->
Applicants cannot own their own homes(2).The 600-euro loan for your rent deposit has to be paid back when your rental contract ends or when you stop getting the assistance money. -->
The loan and the money for the guarantee are one-time payments, and they are granted in case of new rental contracts only.
The assistance (210 euros) is paid every month after it is checked that the tenant has paid the rent to their landlord.
Tenants holding contracts with relatives (first or second degree of kinship) will not be eligible for assistance.
If any of the conditions mentioned above changes after the assistance has been granted, the body which granted it should be informed of the new situation, so that they can make the appropriate decision and report this to the Ministry of Housing.
* Candidates whose assets are higher than 108,182.18 euros are not eligible to this programme.
(2)Unless they cannot make use of it and the property's cadastral value is lower than 60% of the maximum price of a fixed-price home as stipulated in Royal Decree 801/2005, provisionally classified at the moment of the application and having the same location as the rented house.

When is the programme coming into effect?

This assistance programme will come into effect on January 1st, 2008. This will be the first day to submit your application.
Find out more information at the regional Housing Department.
The assistance is paid for full months, and you will be entitled to it the first month after submitting your application.
For instance, if you apply for assistance in January and it is approved in March in your autonomous community, you will be entitled to get it as from February.

What are the steps I should take in order to be granted the assistance?

You have to submit the corresponding form at the Housing Department in the autonomous community or city where the flat you are renting is located.
Then, the housing authorities will check that you meet all the programme's requirements and inform you of their decision. They can take as long as two months.
When they grant assistance to an applicant, the regional housing authorities will report it to the Ministry of Housing. After checking that the tenant has paid the rent to his/ her landlord, the Ministry staff will make a deposit for the assistance’s amount in the applicant’s bank account.
If you do not have a rental contract, you can apply for a provisional recognition of your right to it. Then you will have three months to find a home and fill in a new form with the rental contract. The housing authorities will check the information you provided and inform of their granting of the assistance to you. Immediately afterwards, the Ministry of Housing will make the deposit in your bank account.

What are the documents I need to submit?

The only documents you need are a copy of your rental contract and a printed form including the personal information required to check that you meet all the programme's requirements: age, social security number, the home's cadastral reference, your bank account number, etc
You may be asked to submit additional documents proving that you comply with some of the programme’s requirements. Please check with your regional Housing Department.

Is this assistance compatible with other kinds of financial aid?

The Rental Assistance Programme for Young People is compatible with the tax deductions for tenants currently making its way through the Spanish General Courts. So in the next tax turn (for FY 2008), you will be able to deduct 10.05% of your rent (to a stipulated maximum value), as long as your annual net income is lower than 24,000 euros.
The Rental Assistance Programme for Young People is also compatible with financial aids, subsidies, or tax benefits granted by autonomous communities.
The rental assistance programme for young people is not compatible with the financial aid programme for tenants stipulated in the State Housing Plan.

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