JIS News

The National Housing Trust (NHT) is working to make home ownership more affordable for Jamaica’s young professionals.
NHT Chairman, Howard Mitchell, said the agency has made some policy adjustments including shortening the time requirement for contributors to begin to receive benefit.
“Because, what it usually means is that the longest standing contributor – older people – get houses, but we’re trying to redress the balance so that younger people can access a house easier,” Mr. Mitchell explained.
He was addressing a housing forum hosted by the Jamaica Association of Young Professionals on Friday (October 23) at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Auditorium in Kingston.
Another recent adjustment is the introduction of the combined income policy, which allows two persons to combine their incomes to access the full housing benefit of $4.5 million.
Since this year, the agency has also introduced a shared equity programme, which enables persons, who do not qualify for the full loan to access up to 60 per cent of the amount. “We become your partner for 40 per cent and you pay us out over five years.” This is however only applicable to NHT schemes,” Mr. Mitchell pointed out.
He informed that the agency is exploring the option of building shells rather than complete houses, as well as more ‘build on own land’ projects to provide more affordable solutions for young people.
The NHT head encouraged young people to contribute to the NHT even if they are not employed in the formal sector, as this is the only way they will benefit from the programmes offered.
“Sign up, join up, even if you don’t have a job. You can be self-employed; you can be a voluntary contributor. It makes sense because a house is the most valuable thing you will own in your life,” Mr. Mitchell urged.
“A house is what changes your life and a house is the foundation that you are going to build your life on, in terms of your monetary ambitions,” he noted.