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Proposed NHT-HAJ Merger Sparks Conflicting Views

RJR News /  

A former chairman of the National Housing Trust (NHT) has expressed apprehension about a proposal for the entity to merge with the Housing Agency of Jamaica.

Easton Douglas, who led the NHT Board from 2012 to 2015, has cautioned the Government to proceed carefully with the proposal in light of the challenges facing the Housing Agency. 

He believes that the combination of the two entities will do more harm than good.

“The Housing Agency of Jamaica has not made a profit for a considerable period of time now,” he said, adding that the agency’s employment practices have also not always been helpful to its efficiency and it remains indebted to the NHT ‘for a substantial amount of millions of dollars.”

On The other hand, Dennis Chung, Chief  Executive Officer of  the Private Sector Organization of  Jamaica, has expressed support for the proposed merger, arguing that

it would be a good move as the entities offer similar services.

He believes a proper merger of the operation of both agencies would ensure greater efficiency.

He cautioned however against it being a mere merger “on paper” but “a real merger of operations,” which would result in “a much more efficient structure.”

The merger recommendation came from a Special Commission reviewing the operations of  the National Housing Trust.

It is one of  several proposals contained in a report presented to Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Tuesday.

He has given the assurance that the Government will not implement the recommendations without further consultation.

   

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