'Iskan' programme seeks to provide housing finance to over 60,000 families

Oman Monday 08/January/2024 14:41 PM
By: Times News Service
'Iskan' programme seeks to provide housing finance to over 60,000 families

MuscatThe Oman Housing Bank, with the support of the Ministry of Finance, launched the “Iskan” programme with the aim of accelerating the provision of financing to applicants on the waiting list at the bank and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning, The programme seeks to finance more than 60,000 families during the next five years. 

 The ceremony was sponsored by His Excellency Sultan bin Salem Al Habsi, Minister of Finance, in the presence of a number of Their Excellencies, the Chairman and members of the Board of Directors of the Oman Housing Bank, CEOs of local banks, a number of experts and specialists in economic affairs, and local media at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel.

 Zaher bin Marhoon Al Abri, Director General of Treasury and Accounts at the Ministry of Finance, said that in its first phase, the programme seeks to finance more than 60,000 families during the next five years. He expressed his hope that the programme would accelerate the pace of financing, provided that the waiting period does not exceed 6 months from the completion of the application.

 Al Abri added that the “Iskan” programme works, by providing a lending portfolio worth OMR 1.9 billion over the next five years, to involve local banks, both traditional and Islamic, through a banking conglomerate to provide the required financial liquidity that contributes to the success of the program.

 Al Abri stressed that the Ministry of Finance will work to provide the necessary financing to support loan interest according to the support segments in force at the Oman Housing Bank.

 Musa bin Masoud Al Jadidi, CEO of the Oman Housing Bank, gave a visual presentation in which he stressed that the Iskan program will contribute to accelerating the mechanism of disbursing housing financing through the electronic platform “Iskan”. Through the platform, eligible citizens will be able to submit the required data and documents, know their roles, and choose the bank from which each citizen wishes to obtain subsidized housing financing in accordance with the requirements of the Oman Housing Bank. In addition to the specific requirements for obtaining financing, the possibility of obtaining financing or not, knowing the eligibility and entitlement conditions, the targeted income groups, and the fee that the citizen bears for each interest rate.

 Al Jadedi said that the bank will list the lists of citizens eligible for the round according to seniority, upload them to the electronic platform “Iskan,” and send an SMS when the round arrives for each eligible person. The text message will include a direct link to the application submission page via the electronic platform. The citizen can view all the procedures necessary to obtain housing financing, starting from submitting the application and entering data, and ending with the stage of obtaining financing and evaluating the process.

 Al Jadedi pointed out that the maximum financing amount reaches OMR 60,000 for eligible citizens, in addition to OMR 80,000 for citizens wishing to purchase residential units in Sultan Haitham City, and integrated city projects implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning.

 The CEO of the Oman Housing Bank stated that statistics indicate that the total subsidized financing provided by the bank to citizens since its founding in 1977 AD until the end of 2022 AD at the level of the bank’s branches spread across the various governorates and wilayats of the Sultanate of Oman is more than 56 thousand financing, with a total value exceeding OMR 1.5 billion.

 Al Jadidi pointed out that the challenges that led to the innovation of these financing solutions were that the number of applications reached more than 61,000 applications, including more than 49,000 applications referred by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning to the Oman Housing Bank, in addition to more than 11,000 applications on the Oman Housing Bank’s list.

 As for the strategic objectives of the “Housing” programme, Musa Al Jadidi stressed that they were summarized in several objectives, the first of which is working to achieve social welfare and a sustainable life for all, and providing a comprehensive housing programme that guarantees the financing of more than 50,000 housing units within 5 years, which contributes to achieving the urban strategy towards the development of sustainable governorates and cities. In addition to reducing the waiting period within the possible limits from fifteen years to less than 6 months within 5 years. Ensure to advance economic diversification by pumping housing financing.

During the launch of the programme, text messages were sent to more than 60,000 citizens who applied for housing financing according to seniority, and more than 900 financing applications will be passed every month according to seniority, marking the start of financing operations in their new form instead of the old methods followed.