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NLA, NHT put price tag on land data

Published:Sunday | April 15, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Government agencies are getting serious about collecting funds for services which will cover their operational costs.

The National Housing Trust NHT) and the National Land Agency (NLA) both have instituted fees for data on demand for housing and land.

Adrienne Mullings, communications officer for the NLA, said Wednesday that sales data for property now costs J$60,000, which represents annual subscription pro-rated at J$5,000 monthly.

As part of the NLA's new moneymaking outlook, the communications unit has also been submerged into a newly revamped business services unit at the agency.

"These requests are quite regular and the business services unit has determined that they must be paid for. Staff has to be pulled to do them," Mullings said, referring to the data searches.

At the NHT, where housing demand and affordability studies are individually available on the different parishes, the cost per copy varies according to parish and year.

A librarian at the housing agency indicated that 2010 was the last year for which surveys were available and only for Westmoreland, St Mary and St Elizabeth — each of which will cost J$3,000 to procure.

For older data, costs range between J$1,500 and J$2,000 according to the year.

Before 2010, data was last collated in 2006, but the only available survey is for St Mary, which costs J$2,000.

There is no current demand study, neither nationally nor for individual parishes.

The NHT has nevertheless said that its insistence that low-income units be priced at J$5.5 million and below are based on demand and affordability studies used internally to guide policy.

business@gleanerjm.com