Fri | Nov 22, 2019

Oran Hall | Housing entitlements for an overseas NHT contributor

Published:Sunday | October 13, 2019 | 12:06 AM

QUESTION: I have been a voluntary contributor to the NHT for the past eight years. I am living in the United States. My daughter has also been contributing for the past six years. I had also contributed for 12 years while working in Jamaica through payroll deductions. My secondary address in Jamaica is in Mandeville, where I lived and worked before migrating. The NHT Perth Road scheme will shortly be completed. Will I be able to apply for one of these homes along with my daughter who was born in Mandeville, and if not, why?

– Daniel

 

QUESTION: The three primary criteria for qualifying for a National Housing Trust (NHT) scheme unit are the ability to pay the mortgage, the points accumulated, and residency.

The ability to pay is determined primarily by salary. The points accumulated criterion is based on how long the contributor has been contributing to the NHT – the longer, the more points. Residency means the contributor should be living or working in the parish in which the NHT scheme is located. Living outside of the parish does not exclude a contributor from applying. it just means that applicants who satisfy this requirement have priority.

Once completed, the scheme units are offered to the public for sale through an application process – also referred to as a scheme intake process.

A homeowner who has never received a loan from the NHT can apply for a homeowner’s loan to purchase a scheme house, one developed solely by the NHT or in partnership with another developer, but cannot be the primary applicant. Unlike other cases in which the co-applicant may buy out or replace the primary applicant with another person – as may happen when a dispute arises – this course of action is not allowable with regard to a scheme unit.

If the homeowner had previously received a benefit from the NHT, there is a waiting period from the time of that benefit to the time the new application is made. In the case of a public sector employee, it is 10 years, but it is 15 years for other contributors. If there are two applicants and the name of one is on a title and the name of the other is not, the former can get a benefit of $2.5 million and the latter $6.5 million which also applies to other benefits such as an open market loan.

Contributors whose names are on a title but who are not beneficial owners of the property may be able to get their full benefit by making the request in writing to the NHT. Examples of such persons would be children whose parents add their name to the title or even spouses who add their partner’s name to the title without intending that they should share ownership with them at the time. The NHT does not guarantee that such a request will be granted.

Voluntary contributors applying for a benefit should have contributed to the NHT on time every time for at least one year before applying. If not, the contributor must wait an additional year to be eligible. Phase one of the scheme to which you refer is expected to be ready in March 2020 and phase two in September 2021. If your name and your daughter’s name are not on a title, it seems that you are both eligible for a scheme housing unit, but you would not be among the preferred applicants.

If both of you are eligible, you would each be eligible for a benefit of $6.5 million, but you should note that the NHT will extend a benefit to the full price of the NHT scheme housing unit if an applicant can afford the mortgage.

Going beyond your questions, here is the range of rates the NHT charges on its loans. ( see table)

The rates for persons with disabilities are the same as those for persons 55 and over, and public sector workers are defined as “persons employed in government ministries, departments, agencies, statutory bodies, government-owned companies, government schools, colleges, and universities and local government authorities”.

You and your daughter can apply when the units are advertised, but there is no guarantee that you or any other applicant will be successful in being selected.

 

Oran A. Hall, principal author of The Handbook of Personal Financial Planning, offers personal financial planning advice and counsel. finviser.jm@gmail.com

Salary ranges Mortgagors Public sector Other

55 & over workers contributors

Minimum wage to $15,000.99 0% 0% 0%

$15,001 to $30,000.99 0% 0% 1%

$30,001 to $42,000.99 1% 2% 3%

$42,001 and over 3% 4% 5%