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The National Housing Trust (NHT) plans to spend some $25.5 billion on housing activities in the 2012/2013 financial year, which should result in the completion of 2,819 units, compared to an estimated 2,637 units as at March 2012.

This is outlined in the ‘Jamaica Public Bodies: Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Year Ending March 2013’, which was tabled in the House of Representatives on May 10.

The document indicates that in addition, the Trust plans to sell 1,412 units, valued at just over $3.4 billion.

The NHT will also commence construction and preparation of 2,247 units during the period. Planned capital expenditure will result in disbursement of loans under a number of programmes, including: build-on own land, open market, home improvement, construction, joint-mortgage finance and house lot loans.

These activities will result in the creation of 9,172 new loans, an increase of 2,263 loans on the 6,909 loans estimated for 2011/12.

The Trust will also focus on other key performance areas, including contributions collection and mortgage repayments. Projections are for contribution inflows of $20.268 billion and mortgage reflows of $14.268 billion, representing increases of 3 and 6 per cent, respectively, on the estimates for 2011/12.

The increase in mortgage repayments is due to new mortgage creation as well as planned strategies by the Loans Management Department of the Trust to collect arrears, projected at just over $1.5 billion for 2012/13.

The Trust plans to acquire a debt management software which will assist in improving the efficiency of arrears management. This is expected to achieve a reduction of 10 per cent in the overall delinquency ratio within two years after the installation of the software. The NHT also plans to employ specialist collection teams with sole responsibility for collecting arrears which are in excess of 90 days.

It is also expected that the Trust will explore partnerships with local donor agencies with respect to low income housing infrastructure. To facilitate the acceptance and use of lower cost alternative building materials, the Trust will develop a project plan as well as stage low cost housing competitions.

In an effort to improve greater access to benefits by contributors at the lowest income band, the NHT intends to increase the provision for grants and subsidies to some $3.2 billion by the end of fiscal 2012/13, compared to $708.47 million during the 2011/12 financial year. This represents 80 per cent of the NHT’s pre-tax profits and will be split equally towards assisting beneficiaries under the home grant programme as well as to reduce the price at which NHT scheme units are sold.

At the end of the financial year, the NHT projects an after tax profit of some $45 million, from income of just over $9.7 billion and expenditure of nearly $9 billion.  

 

By Allan Brooks, JIS Senior Reporter