About 95 per cent of households living in social housing units will be excused from paying rent for a year as their incomes are lower than the official monthly level.
A spokesman for the Housing Bureau noted that social rental housing households can be exempted from paying a monthly rental fee of up to MOP 2,000.
The size of the fee a social rental housing household pays to the government depends on how many people are living there and their total income.
According to the bureau, out of 13,245 social rental housing households in Macao, 12,684 – or 95.8 per cent – have a monthly income lower than the official level, so they will be exempted from paying a monthly rental fee of up to MOP 2,000 for one year.
Currently, the household monthly income maximum limit, in order to be eligible to apply to rent a social housing unit, amounts to MOP 12,750 for a one-person household and MOP 19,270 for a two-person household, while for a household with seven members or more, the monthly income may not exceed MOP 37,300.
According to the current new social housing law, which took effect last year, applications for social housing units can be made by eligible residents at any time, whereas previously they could only apply when the government launched a new round of applications for social housing units.
Only permanent residents can apply to rent a social housing flat. An individual applicant for a social housing unit must be aged at least 23, while the representative of a household applying for a social housing unit must be at least 18 years old, The Macau Post Daily reported.
Bureau officials are expected to announce the starting date of the rent-free period in the near future.