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Hinchcliffe welcomes new NHT policy for low-income workers

Published:Friday | May 27, 2016 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell
Audrey Hinchcliffe

Chief Executive of Manpower and Maintenance Services (MMS) Limited Audrey Hinchcliffe has applauded the new National Housing Trust (NHT) policy, which will create increased opportunities for low-income earners who contribute to the Trust to own homes.

The Manpower and Maintenance Services boss described the new policy to benefit workers in the lower-income bracket as "exciting".


Ambitious people


Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday from overseas, Hinchcliffe said workers in her sector have, over the years, been pooling resources with family members to buy land and then proceed to build over time "block by block".

"These people are very ambitious, although they are low-wage earners. They want to aspire to owing their homes like everybody else, so something like this would be of great benefit to them," she said.

The MMS offers a range of services, including janitorial, landscaping, and grounds maintenance. According to Hinchcliffe, "My people are barely above minimum wage, so you can well imagine that this is a welcome change and a welcome benefit for people in that category."

Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced on Tuesday that workers who earn $12,000 per week and less would be able to access interest-free loans from the NHT.

The combined ceiling for mortgage loans and Home Grant will be capped at $4 million per contributor. This means that persons earning $12,000 or less weekly, as well as senior citizens and the disabled, will be eligible for the Home Grant, which is to be capped at $1.5 million.

Contributors seeking to access the Home Grant would have had to contribute to the Trust for at least seven years.

Holness had said that the adjustment in the NHT policy would allow every contributor to afford, at minimum, a studio unit.