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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 19 - 25  > Municipal programs to subsidize house renovations help local economies grow
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2017 April 19 - 25 [ECONOMY]

Municipal programs to subsidize house renovations help local economies grow

April 20, 2017
An increasing number of municipalities in Aomori Prefecture are launching programs to subsidize house renovations as part of their efforts to vitalize local economies, Akahata reported on April 20.

The government of Hiranai Town, located in central Aomori, in 2012 introduced a program to provide financial support for residents who plan to repair their houses. This measure was called for by the Japanese Communist Party in the town assembly. Under the program, those who will place an order with a local constructor for housing renovation costing 200,000 yen or more can request that the town cover 10% (or up to 200,000 yen) of the cost.

Nanao Kiyoshi, who heads the Commerce and Industry Association in Hiranai Town, praised the subsidy program, saying that many local constructors received orders from residents wishing to apply for the subsidy. Members of the association, together with the prefectural chapter of the Democratic Commerce and Industry Organization (Minsho), worked to realize the program, by collecting signatures.

The town government in FY 2016 budgeted four million yen for the support program and made payments for 24 repairs which needed 45.6 million yen in total. JCP member of the town assembly Tanaka Mitsuhiro said that each year the subsidy program brought about positive economic effects valued at ten times more than the allocated budget. He said that the program is very effective in boosting the local economy.

In Sotogahama Town in northwestern Aomori, the municipal government in 2016 set up a subsidy program for house renovations, which the JCP had long demanded. The town covers 20% (or up to 200,000 yen) of house renovation costs. Last year, the local government provided financial support for 19 repairs costing a total of more than 60 million yen.

The owner of a construction firm in Sotogahama said that his company last year obtained four orders covered by the program, which was extremely helpful for a small business like his.

In addition, Shichinohe Town has a program that provides financial support for not only renovations but also for new housing construction. The Misawa City government in 2009 launched a program to subsidize both repairs and new construction. An official of the city said that the program helps bring about growth of the local economy and contributes to stable employment.

Past related articles:
> Subsidy system for house renovation spreads nationwide due to joint efforts by JCP and small business operators [March 25, 2015]
> Ichida demands public supports for SMEs [January 29, 2011]

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