More NHT home and social development opportunities during 35th anniversary year
The National Housing Trust (NHT) invites applications to purchase units in the Salisbury Housing Scheme, and just concluded an application intake for the Home Grant Programme. As the NHT celebrates its 35th Anniversary with a number of communities across the island, a memorandum of understanding was signed to provide $12 million funding for the St. Elizabeth’s Parish Development plan.
On the Social Development side, the art of two young members of NHT sponsored environmental clubs has been featured on the United Nation’s Environment Programme’s (UNEP) 2011 calendar. Also the NHT’s Social Development Department will be hosting an awards ceremony for NHT Scheme Communities in the Portmore Municipality. The public is also being invited to Black History Month activities at Emancipation Park.
Application intake for Salibury Housing Scheme
The NHT is inviting applications for the purchase of units in the Salisbury Housing Scheme in the Corporate Area. Salisbury is a gated community located on the southern side of the roadway, and is approximately one kilometer (1km) west of the junction of Salisbury and Croydon Avenue.
Description of units.
Units Available (Eight 221 SQ M – 3-bedroom townhouses):
• Middle Units (4, 5 & 8) - $ 33,000,000.00
• End Units (1, 3 & 9) - $ 33,500,000.00
• End Units (6 & 7) -$ 34,500,000.00
For further details, visit the NHT website at: www.nht.gov.jm
Home Grants Application February Intake
Apart from inviting applications for the Salisbury Housing Scheme, the NHT invited applications for its Home Grant Programme between February 21- 22, 2011. The Home Grant is a special offer of up to $1.2 million, available to NHT contributors in the 1% and 3% income bands, who do not yet own a home. The Grant may be combined with an NHT loan to build or to buy a house. The combined funds should not exceed the selling price of an NHT studio unit.
Who can apply for the grant?
All NHT contributors whose incomes place them in the 1% - 3% income bands as long as
• they satisfy the following conditions:
• they must have contributed to the NHT for a minimum of ten 10 years.
• they must have made at least 52 weekly contributions. Thirteen of those contributions must have been made during the 26 weeks period leading up to the date of application.
• applicants must not already own a home and should not have received a previous loan from the NHT.
• two (2) eligible contributors may co-apply under this programme.
There are also other conditions which applicants must meet to be qualified. For further details, visit the NHT website at: www.nht.gov.jm
Longville Park Residents Commended by The Trust
Further to granting more home ownership opportunities, the NHT is celebrating its 35th Anniversary with a number of communities across the island, through church services and other events.
NHT’s Managing Director, Mrs. A Cecile Watson
On Sunday, January 30, 2011 at the Church service in the Longville Community, the NHT’s Managing Director, Mrs. A Cecile Watson said the following:
“The NHT acknowledges that Longville has established itself as a community of note in Jamaica with your progressive community-led activities that serve to build and promote right behavior for effective community living. As a result of the civic pride that you are steadfastly building here, your community is now considered a place of choice to live and our experience at NHT is that there is a great demand for homes here. I pray that the work you are doing, and the assistance that NHT has provided through our Social Development Unit, may not only continue but that it will get more effective in creating greater value for homeowners throughout the years to come.”
NHT’s Managing Director, Mrs. A Cecile Watson
Mrs. Watson went on to summarise some of the Trust’s achievements over the past 35 years which include: (i) providing over 150,000 mortgages, (ii) Supplying on average over 2,300 houses to the housing stock each year, just over 60 percent of the new homes that come to market. She added that in the year 2010 alone, the NHT paid out over $1.6 billion in contributions refund to about 120,000 contributors, some of which were applied to their mortgage accounts.
She added that the NHT’s achievements have come about as a result of successful partnerships between government, the unions and the private sector. Mrs. Watson revealed that it is for this reason, the Trust’s 35th anniversary theme is: “A partnership agenda: towards affordable home ownership”. Mrs. Watson ended her address by encouraging the residents of the Longville Park Housing Scheme with a quote from the Bible: “We applaud the partnership that we are experiencing here today, because we believe in the promise of the word of Genesis 11:6: where the Lord said: ‘If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. ‘ We know therefore that the Lord’s hand will be on this community to enable its success if you continue to choose to build on his foundation.”
NHT signs MOU in St Elizabeth
Other communities partnering with the NHT for development, are located in St. Elizabeth. The NHT on February 17, 2011 signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, The St. Elizabeth Parish Development Committee and NEPA, to provide $12 million to fund a development plan for an area ranging from Treasure Beach to Black River. The development plan will guide land use and provide a framework for sustainable development in that section of the parish. Funding for St. Elizabeth is being made within the context of a wider Rural Township Development Programme under which, in 1984, the NHT committed to part fund the preparation of sustainable development plans for each parish at the lesser of $12 million or 40% of the cost.
Speaking at the function to sign the MOU, NHT’s Managing Director Mrs. A. Cecile Watson, pointed out that the Trust saw itself as a natural partner in the effort to improve local planning because of its own involvement in settlement development. The existence of up-to-date development plans she said, would help the NHT to work more efficiently to satisfy the housing needs in each parish. Mrs. Watson pointed the audience to Jamaica’s vision 2030 policy document which identified “Weaknesses in the physical planning system, including outdated development orders and the lack of an overarching planning framework” as among the challenges facing the nation.
Mrs. Watson said that of the $130 million pledged for the overall project, the Trust has so far paid out $24 million. Twelve million dollars of that sum was allocated to the Manchester Parish Council to prepare their own plans, $750,000 to the KSAC for a housing development plan. Twelve million dollars have also been granted to facilitate a North Coast Highway Development study.
Social Development Sponsored Youth Club members shine in UNEP competition
More awards are in the pipeline, as the NHT’s Social Development Department will be hosting an awards ceremony for NHT Scheme Communities on Friday February 25th 2011, beginning at 7:00 pm. The venue is the Lions Civic Centre, Lot 230A, Debbie Avenue; Edgewater in Portmore. This is to highlight the NHT and its activities in the Portmore Municipality in general.
Awards and certification will include:
1. First Aid and CPR
2. Crime Prevention and Community Safety
3. Capacity Building
4. Environmental Clubs' Debate competition and
5. Environmental Clubs' Trash to Cash competition
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 Employees by Submitting Annual Returns for 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 Return
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.
Events at Emancipation Park
The Public is being invited to the following events at Emancipation Park:
Feb.25 American Embassy-Blues on the Greens 6:30pm-9: 30pm
Feb. 26 St. Richards Primary Lapathon 6:00am-8: 30am
For more information about this and other NHT activities and programmes, visit our website at www.nht.gov.jm