It may seem like a bizarre duo, but the island nations of Dominica and Cyprus, former in the Caribbean Sea and the latter in the Eastern Mediterrenean, have something very common when it comes to making their policies regarding housing: the citizenship by investment programs. It is no secret that Dominica has been developing its economy partially built on these foreign investments, it had such programs for a long time now and they are implemented quite successfully there. Cyprus is a relatively new player in the market and apparently it is set on looking at some good examples to build the future of its citizenship by investment program, as well as its housing policies.
Citizenship by Investment Programs are not the Best for Locals
It is no secret that more often than not citizenship by investment programs are better for the foreign investors themselves than a common citizen in a country where they are investing in. After all, these programs offer certain advantages to those investors such as residency permits, new passports, new tax schemes etc. However, since these are all achieved when the investor buys a house in that country, more often than not the added demand to the real estate market in countries with citizenship by investment programs lead to an increase in overall housing prices. Naturally this can have disastrous effects on the actual population that lives in those countries, who may be rendered incapable to sustain themselves in their old homes due to increasing prices.
Things are Improving for Locals as Well in Dominica and Cyprus
However, this does not have to be this way, as Dominica and Cyprus have illustrated so well in the last couple of years. In fact, a proper planning regarding on how to invest the money that comes through citizenship by investment programs can create jobs and lower the cost of living for the people of these countries, if done well. For example, as Roosevelt Skerrit, prime minister of Dominica, puts it, the Dominican housing revolution was built upon the funds that came to the country via citizenship by investment program since 1993. Thanks to this program now there are more than 5000 houses built in Dominica, all funded by investor’s money and ended up offering affordable housing for locals. Cypriot government aims to provide affordable housing to its citizens as well, houses that do not cost more than the 30 percent of the household’s salary. They too will implement policies which will syphon funds from citizenship by investment programs and use them to make accommodation affordable to masses.