Tue | Feb 28, 2017

NHT Outameni purchase a terrible idea

Published:Monday | November 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: Dr
Horace Chang has voiced his concern about the National Housing Trust
(NHT) changing gears and investing the people's money in a tourist
attraction, Outameni Experience. This investment would need a total
capital input of $291 million. Purchase price of $180 million and an
estimated $111 million in upgrades, which could escalate to a much
higher amount.

How can a government-related housing entity be
investing in a tourism-related product when this is clearly out of the
housing ambit? Government and quasi-government entities should not be
entering into the investment arena, as the people could end up sans
everything. We should not invest in spurious deals.

The NHT is obviously swimming in money that it does not know what to do with.

We
must bear in mind that the three per cent deduction from the employers
is non-refundable, and these funds should be used to provide grants,
housing for our street people and our many poor and suffering people who
live in zinc and plywood houses.

The NHT would be on a more
secure footing if a pipeline were established to offer short-term loans
to mortgage lenders at a mid-rate.

I appeal to the Government not
to approve this venture. Very few financiers understand the
complications inherent in many investment offerings, and the long-term
loss that may ensue.

Even banks that we think would have a handle
on the investment pulse have had to pull up stakes because of bad
lending practices to big investors.

VERNA GORDON BINNS

vernadoritag@gmail.com

Black River, St Elizabeth