Jakarta. BPJS Ketenagakerjaan, the country's social security agency for workers, will from next year assist policyholders in securing cheaper housing financing after striking a deal with Indonesia's largest mortgage lender Bank Tabungan Negara and state housing company Perumnas.
The most populated country in Southeast Asia faces a severe housing backlog and many young families struggle to afford housing, particularly in the larger cities.
"We want to contribute to the One Million Houses program, we also want to provide benefits to participants BPJS services as much as possible," Krishna Syarif, the investment development director at BPJS Ketenagakerjaan on Thursday (29/12) said as quoted by Antaranews.com.
He was referring to the President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's program of building 1 million new houses by 2019.
BPJS Ketenagakerjaan, BTN and Perumnas signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday laying out terms and reference for social security policyholders to get cheaper financing from the bank.
"Because of this MoU, the package should be better than commercial banks," Krishna said.
Among the perks, a BPJS social security policyholder who has been with the program for at least a year can apply for down-payment financing with an interest rate of 3 percent above Bank Indonesia's reference rate.
This type of financing could help policy holders fulfill the required down-payment in buying houses. In the Jakarta Greater Area, the down payment for small standard house is often started at Rp 100 million ($7,400), or 2.5 years of work with minimum wage.
A BPJS social security policyholder can also get a mortgage through BTN for a 15- or 20-year period.
"Concretely, we want the interest to be lower than 7 percent. But we are still looking for the best schemes and we expect it can be carried out next year," Krishna.
Indonesia lenders charged mortgage customers with 10.9 percent annual interest on average in October, down from 11.4 percent a year ago, according to latest data from Financial Services Authority (OJK).
BPJS Employment has not ruled out the possibility of establishing similar cooperation with several other banks, Krishna said.