Wed | Dec 7, 2016

National Housing Trust denies lending developers less

Published:Sunday | April 5, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The National Housing Trust (NHT) says it has been lending more to developers as interim financing, contrary to perception among contractors.

"The NHT does not apply a quota to loans to developers according to interest rate category. As long as the developer satisfies the requirements and can be accommodated within the budget, he/she will be assisted," the trust said.

The NHT said that since 2012, an increased total had been budgeted for interim financing to private housing developers.

In fiscal 2011-12 the amount was $1.2 billion, followed by $1.3 billion the following year, then $1.7 billion and $1.9 billion in consecutive years.

The Incorporated Masterbuilders Association of Jamaica has said its members have perceived increased difficulty in accessing financing, leading to assumptions that the quota may have been adjusted.

However, NHT indicated that its data does not back up the perception.

Final data for fiscal 2014-15 is pending, but up to the first 10 months ending January, loan disbursements had reached $1.5 billion. This was $200 million below disbursements at the same point in 2014.

Under its Interim Finance Programme, the NHT offers to provide developers with funding for up to 100 per cent of the construction cost for their projects.

For the period November 2013 to October 2018, the housing trust said it would only give consideration to applications for development financing in which at least 30 per cent of the housing solutions in the development include two-bedroom units priced at $5.5 million; studio units priced at $3.5 million and serviced lots priced at $1.5 million.