The Government, MEPA and the VAT Department have launched a scheme – Investi f’darek - to promote investment in restoration, conservation and maintenance of privately owned residential properties located within Urban Conservation Areas (UCAs) and Grade 1 and Grade 2 scheduled buildings. Under this scheme, private owners of residential Grade 1 and Grade 2 scheduled buildings and all buildings within urban conservation areas (UCAs) may apply for a rebate on costs of restoration, conservation or maintenance carried out between 1st January 2012 and 30th June 2014. The grant is capped at 20% of the restoration costs up to a maximum of €5,000 per beneficiary. This scheme is being made available to a maximum of 1,000 beneficiaries on a first come first served basis. Only one building per applicant is eligible for support under this scheme.
Mepa Chairman Austin Walker said “we, together with government, have been working on this initiative for sometime as we strongly believe that the sustainable way forward is for us to create an environment and promote a culture which encourages the regeneration of our towns and villages.” Mr Walker added that “this scheme is also making certain that owners of scheduled properties, who carry a ‘social responsibility’ to preserve their property for the common good and future generations, are financially being assisted to restore and maintain their property.” Eligible expenditure that may qualify for this grant includes the cost of works related to restoration, cleaning and maintenance of the facade, repair or replacement of doors and apertures, repair or replacement of traditional wooden/masonry balconies, paint and plaster works, consolidation and restoration of the internal building structure that includes repair or replacement of ‘xorok’ and timber/steel beams, arches and ‘kilep’, reconstruction or maintenance of roofs and wells.
Costs of materials, labour, hire of equipment, professional fees (the latter include architect’s fees, specialist consultancy, project management costs capped at maximum rate of 5% of the total restoration costs), as well as MEPA permit fees and other government charges that are directly related to restoration would be eligible for the grant. Applicants will have until 30th June 2012 to apply for this grant in accordance with the process described in the Government Notice and in the relevant guidance for applicants. Further information regarding the scheme may be requested by phone on 22901530 or via email on email@example.com. Over the past days, MEPA organised a number of information sessions for Periti to explain the details of this scheme.
Later this year, once the necessary legal amendments are finalised, the Government is planning to introduce further incentives, including an exemption from duty on documents on transfership between heirs in order to facilitate the consolidation of ownership of Grade 1 and Grade 2 scheduled buildings and buildings in UCAs, as well as tax credits and tax reduction on income from sale or rent of these properties, amongst other incentives. For more information related to this scheme visit www.mepa.org.mt/investifdarek