Flat Roofs

The government plans to offer subsidies to promote low and middle-income houses through the November budget.rn

rnState pension funds are talking to specialised housing banks like State Mortgage and Investment Bank and Housing Development Finance Corp. to lend around Rs. 150 mn at concessionary terms. rn

rnSources said the Employees Provident Fund plans to lend at 12 percent to the housing banks, which will in turn lend it to prospective house-builders at 10 percent.rn

rnWhile the housing banks will repay the state pension funds at seven percent, the Treasury is tipped to chip in by repaying part of the loan at five percent.rn

rnThe proposal for a subsidy has already got donor approval.rn

rnSri Lanka is presently short of 79,000 houses, according to the Census of Population and Housing 2001. The required houses as at end 2001 stood at 4.8 mn, but only around 4.7 mn shelters were available.rn

rnThe report estimates an average of Rs. 560,000 is needed to build a house. Between 1998-2005, the report e