The NHT celebrates 35 years of service, offering improved products and services
The National Housing Trust (NHT) celebrates 35 years of service, has taken a first step towards developing an ecologically friendly town in Trelawny, and will begin construction of 25 housing schemes between February 2011 and June 2012. Additionally, there will be greater efficiency in the collection of NHT Contributions as the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) will collect all statutory contributions and deductions from employers.
However, the NHT is still appealing to employers with outstanding Annual Returns for 2003, to make these payments as this improves their employees’ access to NHT benefits. Another means of improving home ownership comes as the NHT has published the names of persons for Home Grants in January, 2011, and NHT customers served by the Trelawny Service Centre are being advised of its relocation. All this as other service improvements continue via the NHT’s Live Help Support system.
NHT celebrates 35TH Anniversary
Prime Minister Golding, Portfolio Minister for the Trust (3rd left), joins (left to right), NHT Managing Director, A. Cecile Watson; long serving employee, Noileen Junor and Union Representative, Duke Berry as they cut the Trust’s birthday cake.
Flag raising and re-dedication ceremony Hon. Bruce Golding, Prime Minister of Jamaica, has hailed the NHT as having been successful in its mission to provide affordable housing solutions to the nation. Golding, Portfolio Minister for the NHT, was addressing the audience at a flag-raising and re-dedication ceremony to mark the launch of NHT’s 35th Anniversary celebrations. The function was held recently at Emancipation Park.
The Prime Minister while lauding the achievements of the Trust and the dedication of the management and staff, challenged the NHT to find creative ways to ensure that all who contribute to the Trust, are able to receive a housing benefit.
This year, the Trust celebrates its 35th anniversary under the theme, “ A Partnership Agenda: Towards Affordable Home Ownership”. Other activities that will mark the year include the launch of the NHT’s History Book, chronicling the first 30 years; the Best Schemes Competition Awards Ceremony; a special competition among schools; regional church services; a staff recognition function and customer appreciation days. Also, a National Housing Conference and Fair will be held in July. The Trust will also be presenting a gift to the nation, the details of which will be released during the first quarter of the year.
Dry Valley Design Competition
As part of its 35th anniversary celebratory initiatives, NHT announced its intent to develop an ecologically friendly town on a 709 acre property in Trelawny, known as Dry Valley. In a first step towards this development, the Trust announced the top awardees in a competition held last year, to design the township. The awards ceremony was held at Breezes Resort, Trelawny on January 13, 2011.
Thirteen architectural and planning firms registered to participate in the Dry Valley Housing Development Design Competition which was launched in June 2010. Of that group, eight made final submissions. Marvin D. Goodman & Associates emerged the winner with what was adjudged a “holistic approach”, offering an ease of implementation. The winning design was of a township featuring alternative energy solutions, provisions for low impact agriculture, the creation of an agro forest and the preservation of an existing Great House, along with housing for various income groups. At second and third places were Kingston 10 Architects and Lascelles Dixon & Associates, respectively.
Housing Scheme Schedule
The NHT is working to deliver and/or start construction on a number of housing solutions across the island. Four schemes were recently completed, six schemes are under construction, and 25 schemes will begin construction between February 2011 and June 2012. The schemes include serviced lots, starter and studio units, 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments as well as townhouses.
Tax Administration adjusts Procedure for accepting Cheques
As part of its effort towards greater efficiency and control in its revenue accounting, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has advised that since December 1, 2010, payments for NHT, NIS and HEART payroll contributions and deductions MUST be made payable to the Collector of Taxes islandwide or the Large Taxpayer Office (LTO) .
As a result of the change, the IRD will no longer be able to accept cheques made payable to other agencies, for which collection services are provided. Employers in particular are therefore advised that they should discontinue the practice of making cheques payable to the NHT, NIS and HEART, once the payment is being made through a tax office or the LTO.
For further information persons may contact the Tax Administration Customer Care Centre at 1-888-Tax-Help (1-888-829-4357) or visit the website www.jamaicatax.gov.jm
Employers... Help Your Employers by Submitting Annual Returns foe 2003
Employers, we need your help to successfully process applications for Contributions Refund for 2003, which are due for payment to eligible NHT contributors since January 1, 2011. If you still have outstanding Annual Returns for 2003, we urge you to send them to us immediately.
While the majority of employers have already submitted Annual Returns for 2003, our records indicate that there are some employers who may not have done so. If your name appears on the list which can be seen on our website at www.nht.gov.jm it means we do not have an annual return for 2003 for your company. If you had not sent it to us, we appeal to you to do so immediately. If you had already sent it to us, we would still appreciate receiving a copy at this time.
Help us to help your employees claim their refunds without difficulties, as we aim to provide them with satisfying customer experiences.
Home Grant Application Results - Jan 2011
The NHT has published the names of persons who have been short-listed for Home Grants, based on applications made to the Trust in November 2010.Criteria for selection were the number of years which the applicant had contributed to the Trust and his/her income. Please note that this represents the first phase of the selection process, and is therefore not a guarantee of a Home Grant. The NHT is working to contact persons listed for further information. Selectees may also call the NHT at 1-888-225-5648 or 929-6500-9 if no contact was made 14 days after the names were published. To learn about the Home Grant visit our website: www.nht.gov.jm
Trelawny Service Centre Relocation
Our Trelawny Service Centre at 1 Officer's Alley, Seaboard House, Falmouth, Trelawny has been relocated to 34 Market Street, Falmouth, where the NHT will continue to service its valued customers in Trelawny. Our telephone numbers will remain the same:
•(876) 954-3771 -2 or
•1 -888-991-7031 (Toll Free)
Call Centre Now Offering Live Help via the NHT Website
The NHT now offers a Live Help Support system which takes the format of a web chat with its team of Customer Care agents. Live support can be accessed via the NHT corporate website during office opening hours by users locally as well as those overseas.
For more information about this and other NHT activities and programmes, visit our website at www.nht.gov.jm