The National Housing Trust (NHT) continues its 35th Anniversary activities, with an essay competition, as it recognises community spirit in a number of NHT schemes. The NHT is also increasing home ownership opportunities through Home Grants, land title loans and easier deposits with NHT contributions. Employers are also being reminded to file NHT Annual Returns for 2003 by March 31, 2011.
National Housing Trust 35th Anniversary Essay Competition
As part of the NHT’s 35th Anniversary Celebrations, young Jamaicans are being invited to enter an essay competition and win big prizes!
Two categories for entry
There are two categories for entry. CATEGORY 1 - targets youngsters ages 13 - 16 years. They are being asked to write an essay between 1,000 and 1,500 words on the following topic – “Owning a home: the plan begins now”. For this group the prizes are as follows:
• First Place: $50,000
• Second Place: $20,000
• Third Place: 10,000
CATEGORY 2 - targets youngsters ages 17 - 21 years, and they are asked to write an essay between 2,000 and 2,500 words on the following topic- “Matching needs, means and dreams: The home ownership challenge in Jamaica.”
The prizes for this category are:
• First Place: $100,000
• Second Place: $50,000
• Third Place: $25,000
How to enter
Each entry must be accompanied by an entry form that can be downloaded from the NHT website at www.nht.gov.jm or collected from any NHT ofﬁce islandwide. Entries must be submitted by the latest 5.00 p.m. on April 28, 2011, to any NHT Branch Ofﬁce or e-mailed to: email@example.com by the time earlier speciﬁed.
For further details about the NHT’s 35th Anniversary Essay Competition, visit the website at: www.nht.gov.jm
The NHT Honours Community Spirit in Portmore and the Corporate Area
Other than competitions, the NHT is honouring community spirit through Awards Ceremonies. The NHT’s Social Development Department hosted an awards ceremony at the Lions Civic Centre, Lot 230A, Debbie Avenue, Edgewater in Portmore, for NHT Schemes in Portmore on Friday February 25th 2011. This ceremony highlighted the NHT and its activities in the Portmore Municipality in general.
The ceremony involved the NHT presenting the honourees with a range of awards. For winning first place in the Environmental Clubs' “Trash to Cash” competition, the Portmore Pines Environmental Club was presented with a trophy and cash award, by the Member of Parliament for South St. Catherine, Fitz Jackson. Additionally, Jhevonn Johnson who was selected as “Best Rebutter” in the Environmental Clubs’ Debate Competition was presented with a cash prize, as well as a certificate by Alric Campbell, Councillor for the EdgeWater Division. The area’s MP, Fitz Jackson, also presented Jacqueline Brodwick, resident of Hellshire Park with a certificate for Crime Prevention and Community Safety. Orville McCulskie, President of the Delacree Park Citizens Association received a certificate in First Aid and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) from Keith Blake, Councillor for Independence City in Portmore.
Corporate Area Community spirit also honoured
A similar awards ceremony was held on Wednesday March 16th at the NHT’s Head Office. The Social Development recognised its beneficiaries from the NHT communities of Delacree Park, Moreton Park, Holruth Court, Cooreville Gardens, as well as residents of some of its newer schemes namely Paradise Court, Palm Grove Court and Caribbean Palms. They were recognised for their participation in various training programmes over the period 2010/2011. The training programmes were: Community Safety & Security, First Aid, Disaster Preparedness, Community Organisation Management and Fire Prevention.
The guest speaker for the event was Claudette Wilmot, of S-Corner Community Development Organisaton.
NHT offers over $100M in Home Grants
Apart for honouring community spirit, the NHT is increasing home ownership opportunities through a number of initiatives. Among them are Home Grants. For its third consecutive quarter this financial year, the NHT is offering grants to its lowest earning contributors who wish to build or buy a house. One hundred contributors will receive commitments of up to $1.2 million each, in the NHT Home Grant programme.
First introduced in July 2010, the NHT has already offered Home Grants to over one hundred contributors. For this latest invitation, contributors submitted applications on February 21st and 22nd, 2011.
NHT Home Grants are offered once per quarter, if the Trust realises a profit in the preceding period. The Grant is available to contributors earning up to $10,000 per week, and contributing for at least 10 years. The Grant must also be used in combination with the NHT loan for which contributors are eligible. Furthermore, the total of the Grant plus the contributor’s loan amount should not exceed $3.6 million which is the current price for a basic studio unit.
For more information on the Home Grant, visit our website - http://www.nht.gov.jm/loans/need-a-loan/to-buy/home-grant
Loans to register titles under NHT/LAMP II initiative
The NHT is further increasing home ownership opportunities through land title loans. Landowners in Clarendon, St. Elizabeth and Manchester, who do not have titles for their land, and who are unable to afford even the relatively low cost for registering their property under the Land Administration Management Programme II (LAMP II), can now benefit from an NHT/LAMP II loan.
The NHT has made available a total of $100 million, through a revolving loan facility to LAMP II. Contributors, who use the services of LAMP II to get their titles prepared, may access loans of up to $100,000 each. The loan is repayable over a maximum of 18 months at an interest rate of 3 per cent. The NHT/LAMP II loan is being administered by Geoland Title Limited and so the contributor will access and repay his loan to this organisation.
By collaborating with LAMP II on this project, the NHT is improving access to the most affordable land titling facility in the island. To benefit from the NHT/LAMP II loan, landowners must be registered and current contributors to the NHT. However, there will be no waiting period for new contributors who are applying for NHT/LAMP II loans.
NHT/LAMP II beneficiaries then have the added advantage of applying for an NHT benefit such as a Build-on-Own Land loan once they have contributed for at least fifty-two (52) weeks. Even before the title is ready, NHT can process the loan, once contributors receive a letter of undertaking from LAMP II.
Contributors May Now Use Contributions As Security for Deposit
Prospective home owners may also find the new option for paying deposits on a home convenient, as NHT contributors who plan to buy a house or lot, may now apply for a loan against their contributions being held by the Trust. They may use this sum to assist with the deposit on the property of their choice. The loan is repayable at an interest rate of 5 per cent.
Using contributions refund as security for deposit is another innovative idea that the NHT hopes will assist in increasing the ability of contributors to buy homes. The loan against contributions will in effect increase the amount of funds available from the NHT. Conditions apply so for more information, contributors may contact the Customer Service Department at 1-888-225-5648 or visit our website for additional contact details - http://www.nht.gov.jm/our-branches .
Employers... Help Your Employees by Submitting Annual Returns for 2003
Contributions Refund are important to ensure that employees access their NHT benefits. 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.
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