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June 22, 2009

Hiroshima Prefecture Establishes Housing Loan System to Promote Local Wood Use

Buildings Finance

As a way of promoting the consumption of local wood and sustain the local forests and forest industry, Hiroshima Prefecture has established a low-interest housing loan system for homeowners using a certain amount of wood from forests in the prefecture, through joint work with private financial institutions. In the system, homeowners can receive loans from the institutions at lower than the usual interest rates, when they build, remodel, or make additions to their homes. Houses subject to this system include new homes with a floor area of at least a 55-square-meters and using at least 60 percent local wood as the main structural material; and existing homes using at least six cubic meters of local wood when remodeled. The work is to be done by companies in the prefecture that have been registered and approved by the local government. They are required to report the use of local wood for their work to the prefecture.

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