Prime Minister Andrew Holness says careful consideration was given to reduce the National Housing Trust’s (NHT) interest rates.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement while speaking yesterday (March 21) at the groundbreaking of another multi-storey development known as “The Cambridge” in Kingston.
The Prime Minister assured the public that the NHT would not be negatively impacted by any of the policy decisions announced in his Budget Debate presentation earlier this week.
“We considered very carefully in coming to our policy decision to reduce interest rates. We wanted to make sure that whatever we do the NHT would not be negatively impacted and we are certain that the policy decision that we recently made will not in any way negatively affect the NHT. What we have done is to effectively move the NHT’s assets out of government paper and put it where it was designed to be in the first place in mortgages for housing and now the NHT is a far truer reflection of the organization it is supposed to be and that is serving the interest of the people,” said Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister also used the opportunity to remind the public of the new interest rates while underscoring the overall benefits.
“If you are a minimum wage earner up to $12,000 weekly, you would have been paying 0%. What we have now done is for a minimum wage earner up to $15,000 per week, you will now pay 0%. So, now more people will be able to access housing at 0%. Then if you were earning weekly between $12,000 or $12,001 – $20,000 you would have been paying 2%. What we have now done is to say if you are earning from $15,001 up to $30,000, you now pay 1%. We have reduced the rate and increased the band, so more Jamaicans are going to benefit. If you are in the category of earning $20,001 to $30,000 per week you would have been paying 4%. Now we have reduced the rate and increased the band. So you will now fall in the category of earning between $30,001 and $42,000 and now you will be paying 3%,” stated Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister asserted that the new interest rates will create more effective demand for housing given the increase in the loan limit from $5.5 to $6.5 million.
“So now is the time to build, now is the time to make the investment and I have taken the time to come to these groundbreakings because this is something I am pushing for Jamaica, we have to transform our city,” declared Prime Minister Holness.