Tokyo, Jan. 25 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government on Wednesday started receiving applications for its revived eco-point program for housing that aims to support the reconstruction of areas devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Under the program, the construction of houses and condominiums that meet certain energy-saving standards or refurbishments to make existing housing eco-friendly will receive shopping points that can be exchanged for tokens or used to pay for additional home improvements.
The eco-point program ended at the end of July last year but was reinstated with a partly different mechanism and name in the third supplementary budget for fiscal 2011, aiming for postdisaster reconstruction and the wider diffusion of earthquake-proof and energy-efficient housing.
The revived program requires point holders to exchange more than half of their points for local specialty products from the disaster areas or donations.
For new housing construction, points equivalent to 300,000 yen per unit will be provided in areas hit by the March 11 disaster and 150,000 yen in other areas. Refurbishments to make homes more eco-friendly will be awarded points up to the equivalent of 300,000 yen.