Which young families are eligible for state assistance?

The president last week signed a decree which aims to help families with many children repay commercial mortgage loans.

Under the decree, families are expected to apply for compensation with the local executive committees. But, district officials say they have not seen the decree yet and decline a comment. While district bureaucrats are waiting for the document, the European Radio for Belarus explores who can count on the financial assistance from the state.

It is unclear which loans can be described as non-commercial. Is the loan with the interest rate of 14 percent p.a. for 15 years non-commercial? This loan is issued to the families which need to improve their living conditions and is cheaper than commercial consumption loans. If we regard this loan as a preferential one, very few families are covered by this decree.

Belarusbank has assured us that preferential loans are those with the interest rate of 3-5 percent p.a. to be repaid within 20 years.

“Under the president’s decree, a preferential loan is the one with the rate of 3-5 percent. If you received a different loan and meet other criteria, you are covered by this decree”.

According to a Belarusbank’s specialist, even those families who were issued loans at 14 percent p.a. for 15 years could receive compensation, regardless that it was issued because they needed to improve their living conditions.

“It doesn’t matter…This benefit is provided by the bank not the state,” Belarusbank said and advised to approach district committees for compensations.

Maryana Yeutushenkava, the chief specialist at the housing department of the Ministry of Construction and Architecture, says that over 20,000 families can count on this compensation.

According to our estimates, there are at least 20,000 families. There were, are and will be, and we hope that they will improve their living conditions. The state will support them”.

However, you should not dash to the district committees yet. They advise to come in one or two weeks after they have studied the decree. The staff at the district committee in Slutsk complained that they did not see the decree and did not know what was written there.

“We keep responding for the whole day that we have no formal orders that it will be us dealing with this issue. We, too, are familiar only with the information published in the press. We even don’t know what is written in the document. We don’t have a copy of the decree. Nobody has explained anything to us”.

The European Radio for Belarus has received similar answers in numerous district administrations in Minsk.