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Holness' plan for NHT will have limited impact, says former chairman

Published:Monday | February 8, 2016 | 12:12 PM

Howard Mitchell, the former chairman of the National Housing Trust (NHT) says the proposal by the Opposition Leader, Andrew Holness, to introduce multi-generation mortgaging to improve access to housing, will have limited impact.

Multi-generation mortgaging is an arrangement that typically involves the sharing of mortgage payments between parents and their children.


Jovan Johnson reports

As part of his 10-point plan if elected prime minister, Holness committed to allowing people to access 60-year mortgages from the NHT, instead of the traditional 25 to 30 year loans.

Mitchell, who chaired the housing agency from 2008 to 2012, says the proposal can work, but would have limited impact.

He explains that Jamaica's economic underdevelopment is such that incomes cannot be predicted between generations and this will limit opportunities for people to benefit from the proposed scheme.

Mitchell also says the proposal was considered during his time at the NHT, but was not implemented largely because of Jamaica's economic situation.


Former NHT chairman, Howard Mitchell

Holness has not explained how the proposal would work financially.

However, financial analyst, Ralston Hyman, says the proposal for multi-generational mortgages would damage the finances of the NHT and, by extension the Jamaican economy.