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JIS News

KINGSTON — The National Housing Trust (NHT) is currently exploring feasible ways to effectively accommodate  more members of the Diaspora,  who are interested in  contributing to the scheme.

Chairman of the NHT, Howard Mitchell,  has argued that  the "seeming" lack of "connectivity" between the Trust and the Diaspora continues to resonate in discussions between the agency and its clients.

"The fact (is) that we have, perhaps, three million Jamaicans or persons of Jamaican descent abroad, who may want to be part of the Trust, and to contribute to the Trust. Clearly, we would want to engage those persons," he said.

Mr. Mitchell noted, however, that initial surveys conducted by the NHT, and market studies currently being undertaken, reveal that that inclination is not as widespread as deemed. Additionally, he said there is a "danger," in that those contributions would be entirely voluntary, and people would contribute to the Trust for a sufficient period of time to get a mortgage.

"The experience has been, with those who have, that they do that and when they get the mortgage, they stop contributing. So, it creates a drain on the domestic contributors to the Trust, who have to carry that load," he informed.

In light of this "challenge," Mr. Mitchell cited the need to go back to the drawing board, to find a way for the Trust to engage the Diaspora, without it being at the expense of resident contributors.                                 

The forum, which was held under the theme: 'Conversations with the NHT', was attended by a wide cross-section of private and public sector stakeholders in the housing industry. It was aimed at facilitating discussions and presentations on the delivery of more affordable solutions to the market.

By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter