Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced policy changes for two National Housing Trust (NHT) benefits. The policy change will increase the amount of money persons will be able to access for Open Market and 15+ Loans.
The changes will take effect today (July 17).
Previously, only contributors who were constructing or who were buying into new developments whose Practical Completion Certificate dated September 1, 2015, and after could borrow up to $5.5M for Open Market Loans. Now a qualified contributor can access this loan category and borrow up to $5.5M to purchase any house on the open market.
In addition, the loan limit for the 15+ category has been increased from $1.5M to $2.5M. This would bring the 15+ Loan in line with the other NHT Home Owner’s Loan. The 15+ Loan is for NHT contributors who want to repair, improve or expand an existing mortgaged property or those who want to purchase or construct a residential property once the beneficiary is no longer a home owner.
Prior to May 1, 2017, a NHT contributor who was a homeowner, but had never accessed a NHT mortgage benefit, was eligible for a maximum loan of $1.5M.
Prime Minister Holness announced the changes on Friday (July 14) at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Villages of Colbeck Castle Phases 1 & 2.
He said the NHT must fulfil its mandate to build more houses for Jamaicans to access.
“We are widening the reach of the NHT, increasing the allocation to ensure that all Jamaicans have a housing solution,” stated the prime minister.
Mr Holness said increasing the housing stock will allow the cost of squatting to be higher than that of acquiring a legal home.
“You could have sympathy for squatting if the government wasn’t building, but now the government is building so the sympathy for squatting must decline,” explained Prime Minister Holness.
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