JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Mortgage Bank (JMB) is currently in discussions with other lending institutions for loans of $2 billion to finance its investment programme.
  • Currently it has over $4 billion in applications in the pipeline, including proposals to build low and middle income houses.
  • Minister with responsibility for Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy was making his contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on April 28.

The Jamaica Mortgage Bank (JMB) is currently in discussions with other lending institutions for loans of $2 billion to finance its investment programme, as currently it has over $4 billion in applications in the pipeline, including proposals to build low and middle income houses.

“In an effort to increase the housing stock, the Jamaica Mortgage Bank projects commitment of approximately $1.5 billion to $2.0 billion for this financial year to finance approximately 600 to 700 housing solutions,” Minister with responsibility for Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, has said.

He was making his contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on April 28.

Further, Dr. Guy said the JMB has aggressively collected over $260 million of its bad debt during the financial year.

Meanwhile, the Minister emphasised that in order for the housing sector to stimulate real economic growth, the Government must grow the construction sector and by extension the housing sector by a rate of over 10 per cent annually.

“As such, the Ministry will continue to strengthen existing legislative and policy frameworks governing housing and mortgages, in order to spur the revitalisation of the housing market,” Dr. Guy said.

He also cited passage of amendments to the Mortgage Insurance Act (MIA) in December, 2014, to allow for the percentage of the appraised value of a property on which a mortgage loan is granted, to be increased from 90 to 97 per cent.

Another initiative being pursued by the JMB include the development of a Home Deposit Financing Facility Programme (HDFF).

“Under the HDFF, the JMB will make funds available to financial intermediaries for on-lending to their customers as a home deposit loan. The maximum amount that will be given as a loan will not exceed 5 per cent of the sale price of the property, and the property being acquired should not exceed $15 million,” Dr. Guy said.

The JMB has also signed Memoranda of Understanding with three major financial institutions for joint financing of the JMB investment programme.

Dr. Guy said the JMB has signed the largest housing financing Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement in its 44-year history –  the housing development for students at the University of the West Indies.

He emphasised that the JMB stands firm in its commitment, as one of the arms of the Ministry, to provide affordable housing solutions for the Jamaican people now and for the future, thereby facilitating growth.