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NHT explores employer assisted housing programme

Published:Friday | May 24, 2019 | 1:49 PM
Twickenham Park Housing Development Phase 11 in Spanish Town, St Catherine - File photo

The National Housing Trust (NHT) says it is currently exploring the implementation of an ‘Employer Assisted Housing Programme’ to support the Government’s thrust for 23,000 housing solutions by 2021.

“This is where an entity may want to get in an arrangement with the NHT and provide housing for its staff,” Corporate and Public Affairs Manager at the NHT, Dwayne Berbick, told JIS News.

Berbick noted that under this programme the NHT has been targeting larger companies that have land as part of their portfolio.

“We are also in discussion with some of the (local) associations, for example, the Jamaica Teachers’ Association and the Nurses Association, which, over time, may have benefited from receiving land as part of their negotiated wage package over the years. We have been trying to get in an arrangement with them where we convert these lands into housing solutions that can directly benefit the Association,” he said.

Berbick said the NHT is committed to providing 23,000 housing starts by 2021 and has been working on other programmes such as the ‘Guaranteed Purchase Programme’ to help with this mandate.

“We have been working with developers to provide more durable housing solutions at a faster rate, by purchasing and marketing the units to NHT contributors who are desirous of owning a home,” he said.

Berbick added that NHT contributors benefit from this, as units sold under the programme are eligible for 100 per cent financing as opposed to units being sold on the open market.

 “The developers also win because they know that once construction is completed, the NHT will purchase the units and they need not worry about selling the units,” he added.

Berbick said that prior to the NHT engaging in such arrangements with developers, the necessary checks are done.

The NHT, since the launch of its Guaranteed Purchase Programme in 2018, has approved four projects comprising 2,143 housing solutions.

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