14 Jul 2014

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 14 July 2014 – Eskan Bank signed today an agreement with Ithmaar Bank naming Ithmaar an accredited Bank in the Social Housing Financing Scheme and formally appointing it a participant in the Scheme.

The Scheme was introduced by the Ministry of Housing in October 2013 under the patronage of the Deputy of the Prime Minister, His Excellency Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and Eskan Bank.

The Agreement was signed by Eskan Bank General Manager Dr. Khalid Abdulla and Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim.

As part of the Agreement, Ithmaar Bank joins a number of other financial institutions who participated in the programme in October 2013 by signing similar agreements with Eskan Bank. The Ministry of Housing had then signed similar contracts with contractors and real estate developers formally accrediting them as approved providers of housing units that are in line with the standards and specifications of the Ministry.

Following the signing ceremony with Ithmaar Bank, Dr. Abdulla said: “This Programme is in line with the directives of our wise leadership to provide appropriate housing to citizens, and is part of the national housing strategy which aims to identify financing and housing solutions to address the housing challenges in order to achieve stability for Bahraini families with limited income”.

“The Government is committed ensuring the participation of the private sector in developing solutions,” said Dr. Abdulla.

The general manager of Eskan Bank said that they are pleased for the significant increase in the numbers of banks, financial institutions and real estate development companies which have joined the Social Housing Financing Scheme, as this is a clear indication of the success of the scheme in its trial time, especially with the growing demand from citizens to take advantage of this programme which provides many advantages, including a shorten waiting period for housing applications, as well as providing various options for citizens, especially those with limited income or those in specific income brackets who are entitled to other housing services.

“Eskan Bank is working in coordination with the Ministry of Housing to continue develop this ambitious program by increasing the numbers of financial institutions and real estate development companies, besides the great efforts of the Ministry of Housing in this regard,” said Dr. Abdulla. “The current housing vision is moving towards sustainability of housing issues over the long term and delivering housing applications. This is the vision which is always emphasized and directed by the Minister of Housing and Eskan Bank Chairman, Engineer Bassem Bin Yaqoub Al-Hammar and it is one of the most important objectives of the strategic housing scheme,” he said.

From his part, Abdul Rahim said: “As a pioneering Islamic retail bank, Ithmaar recognises the importance of the social role it must play which is supporting the housing issues in the Kingdom. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Ministry of Housing and Eskan Bank to help realise this ambitious scheme and provide the necessary support to customers looking to buy their first homes.”

“Ithmaar Bank is committed to playing a real and meaningful role in the community, and we are privileged to be able to participate in the scheme,” said Abdul Rahim. “The scheme effectively allows housing applicants to purchase residential units immediately from the private sector without having to stay on the housing services waiting list,” he said.

As part of the Scheme, the Social Housing Financing Scheme gives the opportunity for citizens who are above 45 years old and their minimum salary is BD700 to benefit from one of the real estate financings which are offered by participated banks in the scheme by maximum of BD 90,000 to buy one of the housing units provided by the private sector.
The Government’s role, through the Ministry of Housing, is to support each beneficiary by paying the difference between their repayment capacity of 25percent of their monthly salaries and the actual instalment towards financing the cost of the housing unit. This financing subsidy financing period will be over a 25 year period in line with the Ministry of Housing-approved programmes.

Beneficiaries of the Scheme will be able to buy villas and apartments provided two key criteria are met: the price of the housing unit must reflect its fair market value; and the unit must meet building codes in the Kingdom.

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