Sun | Oct 21, 2018

Letter of the Day | Let NHT subsidise rental housing

Published:Wednesday | April 18, 2018 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

This is an open letter to Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

I wish to ask if some attention could be given by your administration to put in place policies to help pensioners who have given life service to government but retire without owning their own home.

I have seen it happen to too many persons, including me, retiring after more than 40 years to the government without living in my own home. I tried once years ago, but my whole salary would have had to be handed over to pay the mortgage. The next time I could consider it I was too close to retirement and did not wish to stress myself.

 

USE FUNDS WISELY

 

We all contribute to the National Housing Trust (NHT) yet not all are able to benefit. The NHT had $5 billion that an administration could pull down to help budgetary issues. There is more where this came from.

Why not use money like this to provide subsidised rental housing to persons who have contributed but are still unable to own their own homes? They would be allowed to live there until they die, and the house returns to the Government for use by another pensioner. Several could be set up throughout the island and built no higher than two storeys. Other jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom provide a similar service, so there's no need to reinvent the wheel.

This kind of assisted living would do well in caring for those who have made a substantial commitment in their career, facilitating the governance of the nation. A tier system can be introduced to take into consideration length of service, awards received, contribution made but not accessed to the National Housing Fund, etc., via allocation of points. The NHT would build, implement, service and manage this programme.

DAWN WILLIAMS

Sullivan Avenue,

Kingston 8