Sandiaga Uno says 0% down payment housing campaign promise only for those with salary of Rp 7 million or more

Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno at the Jakarta Gubernatorial debate on January 13, 2017. Photo: Reuters via Antara
Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno at the Jakarta Gubernatorial debate on January 13, 2017. Photo: Reuters via Antara

One of the cornerstones of Governor-elect Anies Baswedan and Vice Governor-elect Sandiaga Uno’s election campaign was the promise of a 0% down payment housing plan for low income citizens of Jakarta, a controversial promise which was criticized by many for being unrealistic, including Bank Indonesia (Indonesia’s central bank), which said that it would actually violate national lending regulations.

Nevertheless, that promise was seen as one of several reasons why Anies and Sandiaga defeated Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama and his running mate Djarot Saiful Hidayat. But it looks like Anies and Sandiaga – who have not even officially taken office yet – are already facing the reality that this particular campaign promise is not realistic, at least not in the way they first promoted it.

During the campaign, both Anies and Sandiaga said the people entitled to the 0% down payment program are Jakartans making a maximum salary of Rp 7 million per month. But now, after weeks of studying the feasibility of the program, it appears that there’s going to be a crucial amendment to their plan.

“Participants (of the program) must have a certain amount of income to be able to pay the mortgage. It’s being calculated, what’s certain is that it’s approximately between Rp 7-10 million,” Sandiaga said today, as quoted by Kompas.

Not only that, Sandi said that the participant’s net savings would also be taken into account.

When asked if the plan has changed from their campaign promise, Sandi said, “No, it’s still the same as the one discussed before. This is the same scheme as when we first socialized it. A team is currently finalizing the scheme.”

Perhaps Ahok will be able to say, “I told you so” from his jail cell as he serves time for the blasphemy charge that most regard as the primary cause of his election loss. After all, during the election campaign earlier this year, he wholeheartedly rejected Anies and Sandiaga’s 0% down payment program as being “unrealistic” and a violation of existing lending regulations.

But that’s probably not going to make low income citizens who voted for Anies and Sandiaga because of the program feel any better.

Anies and Sandiaga will be officially inaugurated as governor and vice governor, respectively, in October 2017.

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