Samoa Cyclone Rebuilding Loans Limited For Families

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Interest-free for 12 months, but max loan set at $12,000

By Lanuola Tupufia

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, March 5, 2013) – Victims of Cyclone Evan who wish to utilize the WST5 million [US$2.1 million] housing assistance from government to rebuild homes destroyed by the disaster cannot borrow more than WST30,000 [US$12,710].

The WST5 million is only a portion of a WST24 million [US$10.2 million] facility made available through the Samoa Housing Corporation (SHC) and the Development Bank of Samoa for families and businesses.

The assistance is given in the form of loan is free of interest in the first 12 months, the interest rate will be three percent after that.

An officer from Samoa Housing Corporation who was not authorized to speak to the media, said families can apply for up to WST30,000 loan.

She explained for families who have personal guarantors and strictly encourages members of immediate family can apply for WST15,000 [US$6,355].

"Those who have land can make an application for WST30,000 tala," she said.

As for those people who need more than WST30,000 assistance to rebuild their homes, "The outline from Cabinet was very specific that it should not exceed the amount of WST30,000.

"But if they want more than that then I guess they would need to loan from our normal lending service of Samoa Housing Corporation. That means an interest of 17 percent."

A Memorandum of Understanding to allow the scheme to proceed was signed on Thursday by the Minister of Finance Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, CBS Governor, Maiava Atalina Ainu’u-Enari, Samoa Housing Corporation (SHC) Chief Executive Officer, Matautia Rula Levi and Development Bank of Samoa Acting General Manager, Susana Laulu.

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