Wed | Dec 8, 2021

Letter of the Day | Shame on NHT and building societies

Published:Monday | April 29, 2019 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Can the powers that be tell me how it is that I have been working since I was 17 years old and contributing to the National Housing Trust (NHT) but I still cannot own a house now that I am 50!!

I am a single woman who is now working in the private sector, but even with this salary, I was unable to qualify for the full $4.5 million. So then, how will the $6.5-million increase help people like me?

Some of my friends work for the Church, others are teachers, nurses or in other areas of the public sector, but before we each see our salary each month, the NHT has already taken its share from it.

I have been fasting, cutting back, cutting out, scrimping and saving all these years, but there is not much the NHT itself have provided in the Kingston area or Portmore. The last proposal for affordable housing in Kingston for low-income people like me was only on lands by the Riverton dump. However, now that the NHT is building in New Kingston, where it is nice and where we would want to call our home, the price is to start at $13 million. How is this when NHT only gives $6.5 million?

I never join with anyone to contribute to NHT!! So if you are not married, can’t join with someone, or you don’t have a great-paying job, etc, how can we single people afford anywhere? How much further than Spanish Town can we go to live when it’s public transport you take to work in Kingston?

Also, with the NHT increase, already there are increases in the sale prices of housing, so how and when can we low-paid, single persons catch a break?

Just recently, when the NHT maximum was $4.5 million, the same apartment on sale then is now selling for $3 million more because we can now access $6.5 million. With the NHT increase, it’s important that the Government also implement a policy now to halt the continued increase in the cost of housing. The prices are ballooning without any consideration for us the low-income people who won’t get ‘free housing’ for votes.

The Government saw it fit to borrow all the monies needed from the NHT to build the JDF barracks, and I don’t know of these ‘borrows’ being repaid. But that ‘loan’ the Government took out to build the JDF barracks included my monies and other single persons’ monies from over the years, so why can’t we, too, get all the monies we need above the $6.5 million to buy us a home?

Don’t we deserve a secure shelter too without fretting that in old age we won’t be able to meet the higher rents that will come?

And what of the building societies and other institutions with their false advertising of 100% of the cost? They, too, must stop misleading people into believing that we have a chance to own a home, because when you hear the details, you learn that the deposit and closing costs are being offered at a higher rate, as it’s really an ‘unsecured loan’.

Shame on all these entities that either hijack our monies, or those that we save with that should be assisting us to get a secure shelter!!

MICHELLE EBANKS