Legal residents also eligible for housing grants

Legal expats can cash in on some of the government programs including a subsidy to purchase a home.

Officials mentioned this in passing Wednesday when they said that some citizens were being offered housing bonds in exchange for a promise to vote a certain way Feb. 7 in the municipal elections.

Rosendo Pujol, the housing minister, said that political pull is not needed to obtain a housing bond. She listed a series of requirements and specifically said that in addition to Costa Ricans, legal residents also are eligible.

Although the bonds are supposed to be for low-income individuals, the financial requirement is liberal and to some extent directed to the middle class. An applicant can make up to 1.5 million colons a month, which is about $2,855.

The money comes through the Banco Hipotecario de la Vivienda, which issued more than 10,000 bonds in 2015. Although the money is called a bond, it really is a gift that does not have to be repaid.

The Banco Hipotecario de la Vivienda also designates certain projects where the money can be used.

The minister of  Vivienda y Asentamientos Humanos also said that her agency is ready to cooperate with any municipal administration.

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