Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced a raft of improvements and adjustments, which will give greater access to homeownership for National Housing Trust (NHT) contributors.
The Prime Minister has announced the increase in:
Reduced Interest Rates on NHT mortgages
Increase in Construction Loan Limit for NHT lots
The NHT has moved the loan limit by a million dollars from $5.5 to $6.5 million this means first time homeowners applying to the NHT can access up to $6.5 million. Additionally, interest rates will now fall by 1% for all mortgagors.
“The ceiling of lowest interest rate band would be increased to $15,000 per week from the current $12,000, thereby allowing more persons to access the Home Grant, which is tied to this marker,” announced Prime Minister Holness.
Regarding Intergenerational Mortgages, the Prime Minister said it will allow flexibility in how a family member can support the beneficiary in acquiring an NHT property.
“In the case of the proposed Programme, the aim is for a younger sibling or child to agree to carry the mortgage obligation, subject to affordability, when the older mortgagor retires or dies,” stated Prime Minister Holness.
He further announced that under the programme;
- The loan will be scheduled over a 60-year period;
- The beneficiary’s loan with the NHT will be scheduled to retirement and will include the portion of the costs to be covered during the period from the date of the loan to retirement e.g. if the beneficiary has 20 years to retirement, only 20/60 or 1/3 of the cost of the solution will be factored into the required payment;
- The beneficiary will be required to present the NHT with an ‘heir’. That heir must be a younger sibling or child who will consent to repaying the outstanding amounts of the cost of the asset, which will be adjusted to current values. That sibling will be allowed to take over the asset, if they agree to the various terms, including allowing the beneficiary to occupy the premises for an agreed time. The cycle may be repeated for a second heir to take over the housing solution;
In the meantime, the Prime Minister asserted that the initiatives will work along with the changes to the tax structure. In that regard, Prime Minister Holness underscored the steps being taken by the Government.
“The Government is taking positive, thoughtful and decisive actions on all fronts to improve the quality of life for all Jamaicans. We acknowledge and accept that there are challenges. That there is room for improvement. We are not perfect, we make mistakes,” said Prime Minister Holness.