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Puttinu Marathon Walk In Malta… And The UK!

Puttinu Marathon Walk In Malta… And The UK!
Mar 28 2024 Share

Joe Vella initiated the Great Friday Walk 21 years ago. The inaugural walk was undertaken by Joe Vella and his son-in-law, journeying from Mellieha to Isla with a significant offering. This year, the Great Friday Walk, in support of Puttinu Cares, will take place between Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, commencing at midnight from Mellieha, where thousands will gather to uphold this tradition.

An exceptional aspect of this year’s event is the participation of Andrea Grech La Rosa from England, who will concurrently undertake the walk from the property acquired by Puttinu Cares in London’s Center to the Apartments in Sutton. The walk spans 14 miles and is anticipated to take 5 and a half hours to complete.

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Hundreds Of Families To Benefit From Interest Rate Reduction

Hundreds Of Families To Benefit From Interest Rate Reduction
Mar 28 2024 Share

The Foundation for Affordable Housing, in collaboration with APS Bank, has introduced Loan-Up, an initiative aimed at reducing interest rates for hundreds of families looking to purchase property. Minister for Social and Affordable Accommodation, Roderick Galdes, described Loan-Up as a novel financial tool that will facilitate homeownership for many families. This initiative will enhance accessibility to loans for low- and middle-income families while significantly increasing their borrowing capacity. For example, families previously eligible for a €185,000 loan may now qualify for up to €203,000, broadening their housing options.

Minister Galdes emphasized the importance of homeownership in Malta’s socioeconomic landscape, citing the country’s impressive 82% homeownership rate. He reiterated the government’s commitment to launching new schemes and strengthening existing ones to address housing challenges and ensure tangible benefits for families.

This initiative, along with other recent schemes, reflects efforts to foster sustainable growth and redistribute resources to create more affordable housing solutions. Minister Galdes highlighted the significant transformation in the housing sector in recent years, with specific objectives aimed at improving affordability and support for homebuyers. This shift represents a positive and substantial change towards a more equitable and sustainable housing market.

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Traditional Ċuqlajta Set Up For Malta’s Holy Week

Traditional Ċuqlajta Set Up For Malta's Holy Week
Mar 28 2024 Share

During Holy Week in Malta, particularly from Maundy Thursday to Holy Saturday, churches forgo their usual bell chimes in favor of an instrument known as the ‘ċuqlajta.’

This wooden ratchet-style device, also called ‘cuqlajqa’ or ‘coklajta’ depending on the parish, has a rich historical background tracing back to the Middle Ages.

From 1282 to 1530, Malta, Gozo, and Sicily were under Aragonese rule, fostering cultural exchanges that likely introduced the ċuqlajta to the islands. With the arrival of Sicilian families and the Knights of St John, Spanish influence further solidified, contributing to the prevalence of this instrument.

In various sizes, the ċuqlajta serves different purposes, from large ones used in belfries to smaller ones for indoor church use. Some are even hand-twirled and given to children during Holy Week.

While similar wooden instruments predate Christianity, the ċuqlajta holds particular significance during Holy Week, symbolizing a departure from the usual joyous church bell rings to a more solemn sound.

However, as Easter morning arrives and the Resurrection of Christ is celebrated, the ċuqlajta is replaced by the joyous peal of church bells, signaling the return of celebration and jubilation to the community.

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Foundation For Affordable Housing and APS Launch LoanUP

Foundation For Affordable Housing and APS Launch LoanUP
Mar 28 2024 Share

The Foundation for Affordable Housing, in partnership with APS Bank announces the launch of its inaugural product, LoanUP. Designed to address the pressing need for accessible homeownership solutions, LoanUP offers unprecedented borrowing rates tailored to empower young individuals and families to achieve their dream of owning a home.

LoanUP boasts a remarkable 7-year fixed rate of 1.95% for Tier 1 applicants, providing a mortgage value increase of up to 15%. Tier 2 applicants will also benefit from competitive rates and an increased loan value. This innovative product aims to break down barriers to homeownership by offering preferential terms to those who need it most.

The product is available to gainfully occupied individuals under 30 years old with incomes not exceeding €30,000, with limited assets, with preferential terms offered to applicants with lower incomes, dependents, and shorter loan terms. The Foundation for Affordable Housing CEO Dr Jake Azzopardi said that the Foundation’s mission is rooted in social innovation, bridging the gap between social impact and financial value.

“LoanUP embodies this ethos by granting much-needed access to homeownership for young individuals and families, fostering social and financial freedom,” said Dr Azzopardi. This launch marks a significant milestone for the Foundation for Affordable Housing still in its first year of operation. With a dedicated €1 million fund allocated to support this initiative’s first cycle, the Foundation is committed to diligent administration and ensuring the success of LoanUP eyeing a leverage of around €65 million in loan value.

An Investment Committee, comprising industry experts, will oversee the execution of this product and the organization’s continued growth. LoanUP represents the first step in a long journey towards empowering individuals and families to attain homeownership and realize their life goals. The Foundation for Affordable Housing remains steadfast in its commitment to driving positive social change and creating lasting impact in communities. For more information about LoanUP and the Foundation for Affordable Housing, visit www.affordablehousing.mt

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