JIS News

Though some Jamaicans view selection for a National Housing Trust (NHT) home in much the same way they view the lottery, the NHT has assured that it takes a systematic approach to selection of candidates.
Senior General Manager for Customer Relations Management at the Trust, Dr. Lanie-Marie Oakley Williams, says selection is done using the Priority Index Entitlement (PIE) system.
She says persons applying for a scheme house benefit are selected for an interview based on a combination of different factors, including proximity of the scheme to the applicant’s workplace or residence. The NHT also looks at the number of weekly contributions made by the applicant.
The PIE system awards points based on the number of years the applicant has contributed to the Trust, and also based on his/her income.
Persons who earn less income earn more points in the selection system, and Mr. Oakley Williams says low income earners who have been contributing to the NHT for over five years, would have accumulated enough points to be eligible to benefit under PIE.
“In a 52 week period you will get 20 points. So, if you have been contributing for five years you will get a total of 100 points, in addition to that you will get some additional points based on your income level so, for instance, if you are in the group that has income below $7,500 per week you get 110 extra points, and those persons who are at the higher income group who are earning over $20 thousand per week would get 70 points,” Dr. Oakley Williams explains.
She says the NHT collates the total points, and persons with the highest points are selected first. If for any reason that candidate cannot afford the unit or is no longer interested, it will go to the person with the next highest number of points.
Dr. Oakley Williams says, once NHT scheme units become available, the public will be notified through the media.
“When you apply for the scheme unit, we do an assessment based on the points and these points are allocated based on the number of years that you have contributed. So, we encourage our contributors to look for the papers and to see whenever we have a scheme that is eligible, and then you can apply for the NHT scheme units,” she says.
The Trust says, along with the advertisement, a fact sheet with all the necessary information is also made available.
The information includes details about the scheme houses, including location and sale price, down payment required as well as closing costs. The NHT will also publish NHT loan information and specify who may apply for the lots and when they can apply.
Persons selected for a scheme unit are notified by mail, as well as through publications in the media. For further information, contact the NHT toll free at 1888- 225- 5648 or visit the Trust’s website at www.nht.gov.jm.