Clarendon to see $18 billion in housing development from NHT
The National Housing Trust (NHT) will be injecting $18 billion into the local economy through housing developments in Clarendon over the next three-and-a-half years.
Board Chairman at the NHT Ambassador Dr Nigel Clarke made the announcement in Clarendon last Friday at the ground breaking ceremony for an additional 351 housing solutions for the Monymusk Country Estate Phase Two. Of this number, Clarke said 100 units would be exclusively reserved for sugar industry workers who are yet to own a home or are having difficulties with same.
"The Monymusk Country Estate will have all the modern and basic amenities that come with development, including paved roads, proper drainage systems and provisions for recreational activities, among other things," he explained.
The Monymusk Country Estate project is one of nine housing schemes to be developed in Clarendon by 2020.
In addition, Clarke said the NHT plans to issue 8,500 mortgages this year to purchase homes from the NHT or on the open market.
"We are in the business of creating affordable housing solutions, which is important because so many Jamaicans, though they may desire to, don't have their own home and, for the most part, we are a historically dispossessed people and so home ownership plays a significant role in the psychology of the Jamaican individual," the board chairman lamented.
"Housing developments such as these provide regular accommodation instead of the irregular means in which some people often find themselves. This regularisation improves social outcomes, improves order in society and it makes us a better people and a better society in general," he added.
Trust to provide $2.5m home grant, other goodies
The National Housing Trust (NHT) will also be providing a home grant of $2.5 million for contributors whose wages amount to $12,000 a week or less and who have been contributing to the trust for seven years or more. This grant, NHT Board Chairman Nigel Clarke noted, is a saving factor for many people in the income bracket where home ownership is difficult.
Clarke also said on Friday that the NHT has started a micro-finance initiative, where the trust will be lending funds to credit unions and other specific financial institutions where persons who are contributors to the scheme across the country will have access to unsecured loans of up to $850,000 for home repairs and other housing-related purposes.
One hundred per cent financing is also available to persons who will purchase solutions in NHT-developed housing schemes.
"The NHT is introducing these initiatives that have not been on the books before in order to ensure that home ownership becomes a reality because we intend to bring about a housing transformation in Jamaica," he said.
The NHT is targeting 15,000 housing solutions across the country by March 2020 and, for this year, the NHT plans to start 5,500 homes in Jamaica. So far, 3,700 have already got under way in Trelawny, St James and Westmoreland. So far, ground has been broken for 85 solutions in Longville Park in April, 150 in Birds Hill in May, and 351 units in Monymusk on Friday, which brings the total already in Clarendon to 586.