Holness announces increased benefits for NHT contributors Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Contributors to the National Housing Trust (NHT) are set to benefit from increased loan limits as of July 1, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced.

The prime minister revealed the new loan ceilings on Thursday as he made his contribution to the 2023/24 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives.

He said a single contributor to the NHT can now access $7.5 million to purchase a house, up from $6.5 million. If the unit being purchased costs $12 million or less, the loan limit will be even higher at $8.5 million.

Additionally, where two contributors join together to make a purchase, the benefit will be increased from the current $13 million to $15 million. Three beneficiaries will now qualify to borrow $21 million, up from the current $19 million.

Holness said other loan limits, including minimum wage housing grants will be increased from $2.5 million to $3.5 million.

The prime minister said the Government was mindful that housing construction costs, influenced in part by global supply chain issues and energy prices have increased significantly over the past five years.

“Therefore, a review of the NHT’s loan limit has been undertaken, with the intent of improving the affordability to contributors. As a result, the loan limits will be increased to bring the maximum benefit in closer alignment with prevailing market conditions,” Holnes explained.

Meanwhile, the prime minister provided an update on the Administration’s manifesto promise to build 70,000 houses in five years.

“With current developments completed, under construction, in negotiations, budgeted or in planning and design, we have, in train, 57, 212 units of the 70,000,” Holness said.

He added that the NHT continues to align its strategic efforts and its business model towards facilitating the efficient production of low cost housing solutions to contributors.

He said the state-run organisation has progressively increased its annual expenditure and investment in housing. The housing expenditure has moved from $21.59 billion in 2013/2014 to $46.15 billion in 2021/22 and will further increase to a projected $48.17 billion by the end 2022/23 financial year.

The NHT is projected to achieve 1,742 starts and 1,677 completions for the 2022/23 financial year. There are 5,198 units currently under construction across 24 projects in the housing portfolio.