JIS News

The National Housing Trust (NHT) spent $16.9 billion on housing during the financial year 2007/08, representing an increase of 26 per cent over the $13.4 billion expended in the previous financial year.
According to the NHT’s Annual Report for the period, this was equivalent to 145 per cent of contributions collected during the current year, compared to 144 per cent for the previous financial year.
Housing completions for the year totalled 2,796, exceeding projections by 255 solutions or 10 per cent. Completions comprised: Build-On-Own-Land (BOL) and Construction Loan (CL), 1,375; Home Improvement and Home Enhancement Loan Programme (HELP), 302; Interim Financing, 1,108; and NHT Projects, 11.
Additionally, the NHT provided 6,947 mortgages at a value of $12.5 billion. “As reported in the 2007 Economic and Social Survey of Jamaica, the NHT accounted for more that 50 per cent of the number of mortgages provided nationally,” the report states.
In the meantime, in an effort to improve the quality of service provided to customers, the NHT undertook measures, which were deemed beneficial to staff and customers.
The Trust expanded its mortgage payment options and as such, effective March 2008, customers were able to make mortgage payments at over 200 Bill Express outlets island wide. The Trust also reviewed processes and systems in the Legal Conveyancing and Construction and Development Departments. As a result, work commenced on a web-based file and securities tracking system for the Legal Conveyancing and Mortgage Registry Department. Implementation of this project will enable the organisation to achieve efficiencies in file and securities tracking and turn around times.
In addition, a re-engineering of the business processes in the Construction and Development Division also began. The result of this project will be an improvement in the management of construction programmes through a reduction in the layers of processing and elimination of barriers caused by stand alone systems.
In accordance with its operational guidelines, the Trust continued its focus on the development of staff through core competence training. “Training was undertaken in loan processing, customer service, auditing, performance management, leadership development, and supervisory management,” the report states, adding that an industrial relations forum was held for its managers and union delegates.
The document states that the NHT has chosen to act in accordance with the draft Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act being piloted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. “The organisation intends to be fully compliant when the Act is passed by Parliament. To this end, OSH activities have been embedded in the operations of the Trust. The NHT’s focus on OSH is intended to help create a healthier work environment, resulting in more productive employees,” the document outlines.