Financial Adviser | Applying for a NHT house
QUESTION: How can I apply for a house from the National Housing Trust (NHT), and what are the requirements?
PERSONAL ADVISER: You have brought to attention an important function of the NHT apart from its role in providing mortgages to its contributors - adding to the supply of housing units for the benefit of its contributors.
The NHT generally advertises the scheme units it has for sale on its website, for example, setting out the time frame within which applications are to be made. Applicants should be current contributors to the NHT.
The NHT uses the Priority Index Entitlement System (PIE) to award scheme units or lots to applicants. Under the PIE, contributors earn points according to their income and the number of contributions they have made to the NHT.
Where two contributors are co-applying for a unit, both must meet all qualifying requirements but only the points of the primary applicant will be considered for selection.
The NHT offers loans of up to $4.5 million for individuals, and twice that amount if two persons apply jointly. Applicants may also source additional mortgage funding from the building societies if the NHT loan is not sufficient to cover the cost of the unit.
Ultimately, how much applicants qualify for is a function of their ability to pay, which itself is a function of their income.
Individuals who are currently contributing to the NHT and who have made at least 52 weekly contributions, 13 of which must have been made during the 26-week period leading up to the date of application, are eligible for loans to buy scheme units.
The following persons do not qualify: persons who have received previous mortgage loans from the NHT, persons who joined or co-applied with other NHT contributors to take up previous NHT loans, and contributors who are homeowners or whose spouses are homeowners.
You must apply using the application form on the NHT's website. If you are without Internet access, you may apply at any NHT office. Once you fill out and submit the online application form, you will receive a reference number which you should write down for future reference.
You will need your NIS number and your TRN, as well as information about where and when you were employed, in order to apply.
You must fill in the specific month(s) and year(s) that you worked with each employer, for example, January 1994 to December 1999 - Jovan Distributors Ltd.
You should declare only income on which you have paid NHT contributions. If you have additional income that you have not paid NHT contributions on, do not include it on the application.
You are not required to verify contributions at the time of application, but must do so at the time of the loan interview in the form of a letter from your present and previous employer(s). For self-employed persons, proof of contribution is the NHT payment receipt.
In your quest to have your own home, it is important to pay close attention to the location of the housing unit, particularly in relation to how convenient it is to get to work and school, among other considerations, for yourself and other members of your family.
For further information go to: nht.gov.jm
n Oran A. Hall, principal author of 'The Handbook of Personal Financial Planning', offers personal financial planning advice and counsel. firstname.lastname@example.org