“A VERY ATTRACTIVE CHALLENGE FOR THE CITY”

PLANS to renew and improve the image of the city's maritime façade from the Avenidas to the Llevant motorway will include 420 subsidised flats, it has been revealed. A total of 330 flats will be built on empty plots of land in Avenida Mexico and 90 in Calle Peru, in the Llevant industrial estate. Jaume Carbonero, director general of housing and architecture, described it as a “unique opportunity to carry out an in-depth transformation of an important part of Palma, without neglecting strategic objectives of the housing policy.” He added that a new maritime façade does not necessarily mean luxury homes and said it was “a very attractive challenge for the city.” Nearly all the empty plots on the right hand side of Avenida Mexico (towards the ring road) belong to the Balearic Housing Institute (Ibavi) and 330 flats in four blocks will be built here. However, Ibavi will have to await approval of the latest modifications to the plans for the maritime façade. Carbonero said that it would be his department's contribution to the global project, with quality constructions.
The ministry of public works, housing and transport has recently started to refurbish 1'300 homes in the districts of Soledad and Polígon de Llevant, which are not on the maritime façade. This work will continue until 2005 and will cost more than ten million euros. The Balearic government will provide six million euros, the central public works ministry 3.6 and the flat owners the balance. The purchase of a subsidised flat represents for the buyer a saving of 25 per cent on the price it would have in the open market. The beneficiary pays only the value of the usable area of the flat, and the cost of the rest of the construction is paid by the administration. As to finance, the buyer is eligible to grants of between 21'000 and 30'000 euros and a 20-year mortgage for 80 per cent of the value. And, depending on income, he or she may also receive aid for the 20 per cent down payment. Some of the subsidised flats are sold, others are rented. Preference is generally given to single parents and young couples trying to buy their first home.

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