NHT should consider helping renters – CAPRI
Debbie-Ann Wright, News Editor - Radio
The National Housing Trust (NHT) is being urged to broaden its concept of providing housing and begin looking at the rental market instead of focusing solely on home ownership.
The recommendation is among several made by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI) in a study launched yesterday, dubbed 'The NHT: Wrong Funding, Wrong Target, Wrong Strategy?'.
The study has concluded that the NHT is a tax on its poorest contributors, which is used to subsidise wealthier contributors.
The study calls for a revamp of the NHT which it says has too much money, but is not benefiting its neediest contributors.
Co-executive Director of CAPRI, Dr Damien King says broadening of the NHT’s housing solution mix by facilitating rental housing would help to address the housing shortfall.
He says this is necessary as home ownership is not an option for many NHT contributors.
Meanwhile, King says the NHT should facilitate incremental building by designing lending schemes that allow contributors to access mortgages in small disbursements over shorter terms.
He argues that poor households avoid exposure to long-term obligations which may mean the loss of the entire house when payments cannot be maintained even for a short period.
Meanwhile, CAPRI says the NHT should reduce required NHT contributions from the current five per cent to two per cent of wages.
King says this is because the NHT already has too much money as evidenced by the billions it has been accumulating in surpluses yearly.