Jamaica Observer / KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The National Housing Trust (NHT) will deliver 11,103 houses to the market for fiscal year 2018/19. The number comprises 6,369 housing starts and 4,734 housing completions. In addition, 8,000 new loans will be created.

Governor-General, Sir Patrick Allen, made the disclosure while delivering the Throne Speech to open the new parliamentary year in Gordon House yesterday.

He said the housing development process and related policies to shorten the development cycle will be reviewed.

Measures will also be implemented to incentivise developers to participate in the low-income housing segment, and to establish a framework for partnership with employers in targeted industries for the provision of housing and unique mortgages for employees.

He said that through greater access to funding and the creation of more housing solutions to the market, the NHT will continue to make homeownership a reality for more Jamaicans in 2018/19.

He informed that the strategic review of the NHT was completed in November 2017 and will be brought to Parliament in the first quarter of the new fiscal year for discussions and implementation of accepted recommendations within the context of the Vision 2030 goals.

He said the NHT is on target to achieve 5,500 housing starts for fiscal year 2017/18.

He noted that the agency implemented several policy changes and initiatives geared at improving housing accessibility and affordability that began in July 2017.

Chief among them were implementation of a partnership between the Trust and credit unions that will provide individuals earning less than $30,000 per week with housing-related funding of up to $1.5 million; providing 100 per cent financing to qualified applicants to acquire NHT scheme solutions; increasing the amount accessible to qualified persons through the NHT Home Grants programme to $2.5 million, up from $1.5 million.

Allen said in addition to those key adjustments, there was realignment of the four interest rate bands in which NHT contributors are categorised.

Meanwhile, he said the focus of the Government continues to be on creating a modern and efficient ecosystem that provides the foundation for economic growth and job creation.

The Throne Speech was delivered under the theme ‘Continuing on the Path to Prosperity’.


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