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Official News

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Affordable Housing for Youth program implementation criteria to be revised

Today the national youth policy council by the Prime Minister met in an enlarged sitting, chaired by council head, RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan

The meeting discussed and approved the working program and the rules of procedure of council activities for 2010, as well as the question of setting up a corresponding task force for realization of the program of activities. Deputy Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Arsen Karamyan reported that a task force has been established to develop the 2010 program of activities which will consist of eight main areas: organizational items, national youth policy assessment, development of proposals and recommendations, strengthening of the regulatory framework applicable to national youth policy, youth policy-related interdepartmental cooperation in marzes and communities, patriotic and spiritual - cultural education, Artsakh-Armenia youth programs, development of international cooperation.

The council endorsed the main priorities for NGO-targeted grant programs in 2010-2011 as stipulated in the State budget for those programs and actions aimed at implementing State youth policy in Armenia.

The new system of grant programs radically changes the mechanism of youth organizations financing. The system provides that all relevant applications and application reports will be submitted online and will be accessible to wide layers of society. The system will help increase efficiency and transparency of decision-making in the matters of youth policy. In this connection, Tigran Sargsyan charged to include in the list the student’s councils, regional youth clubs, encouraging active youth participation in target programs.

The meeting discussed the course of implementation of Affordable Housing for Youth program. According to the head of government, from very first day of program approval there were different opinions in the working group on the terms and conditions for implementation. “In particular, there was an opinion that the proposed 3 billion drams would be quickly exhausted and we would have to replenish the fund. I did not share in this opinion as I was convinced that the criteria established were too strict but perhaps justified since they might enable us to assess the efficiency of our techniques and the readiness of our banks to finance the program. We had to keep the program under control, ensure that the established rules and procedures reach communities through the system of commercial banks. But today’s tentative estimations show that, as a matter of fact, the program is slow to move ahead and that we have to reconsider lending conditions,” Tigran Sargsyan said emphasizing that it is necessary to reconsider the sum of the first payment, as well as the terms and interest rates: “I do think that it would be better for us if applications are decupled. The banks are conservative on the matter because they face the bulk of the risks associated with the program. This means that we should pay more attention to subsidy criteria to attract as many young people as possible. This is what we noticed during the implementation of the first stage. We may need to come together with the task force and the Central Bank to take up the matter once again. We are ready to increase funding under this program and even turn to international donor organizations in order to ensure successful implementation of the program,” the Prime Minister said.

As he said, it is possible that more affordable conditions are provided to marz inhabitants during the first stage. “We should offer preferential terms to mortgage applicants from marzes and communities. We must check to see the correlation between the proposed terms and the number of applications. If a scheme is successful, we shall try to expand to other regions as well,” Tigran Sargsyan told the meeting.

In his belief, the question needs to be made a subject of public discussion as our society seems to be highly interested in mortgage programs. “Unfortunately thousands of young people were unable to take advantage of the program due to the established criteria. Therefore, we promise you to reconsider them,” Tigran Sargsyan said in conclusion.

May 2020