Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Housing Authority (ADHA) on Thursday outlined the updates in the housing policy for Emiratis in the emirate.

Among the changes is the inclusion of a new housing programme that allows Emiratis to buy a housing plot that has already been prepared with the necessary infrastructure to build a house. The cost for building the house will be equal to the infrastructure cost and as per the eligibility priorities set by the housing programme.

The list of benefiting segments has also been expanded including Emiratis from all across the UAE. They have to prove that they have worked in Abu Dhabi for a minimum of 15 years and resided in the emirate for at least 10 years. They will be allowed to lease the residential plots they acquired through the grant, regardless of whether the plot has been used to build a house or not, but only as long as an alternative and suitable house is available and the conditions set by the authority are met.

As per the updated policy, the maximum amount of housing loans has been raised to Dh2.25 million, with the option to get an additional exemption of Dh250,000 if the government did not bear the cost for building the house’s infrastructure.

Emiratis who have previously received a loan for building, reconstructing or demolishing a house are now allowed to change it to a loan for buying a house that has already been built.

The authority will also work on expanding the list of housing grant beneficiaries, and Emiratis with limited incomes can receive a Dh1.25 million long-term loan, which can be repaid once the financial status of the beneficiary improves or once his/her income rises above the limits set for this segment.

The income cap to apply for a long-term loan was raised to Dh20,000. The loan amount, instalments and time set for repayment will vary based on the beneficiary’s income. However, the repayment period cannot exceed 25 years.

Hamad Nukheirat Al Ameri, director-general of ADHA, said the authority is currently working on new housing solutions to offer 5,000 housing loans annually.