President of the Realtors Association of Jamaica (RAJ), Andrew James, is congratulating the National Housing Trust (NHT) on its plan to attract small developers to build affordable homes for which it guarantees buyers for the property.
According to James, “What the NHT has done is removed risk to the developer off the table. Once they build to certain specifications, the NHT has the ready buyers. And this is important in the market we are dealing with.” James goes on to explain, “Affordable housing at this time is any property that NHT’s contributor benefit can help pay for. With the benefit now being J$6.5 million for individual purchasers and J$13 million for two persons, the NHT has by its actions defined what is affordable for the average buyer. So, we believe that developers would keep that in mind when they are designing a solution for that market.”
“Let me say that I know that the demand for affordable housing is significant…I know that they (the NHT) are unable to satisfy demand in the short term.”– President of the Realtors Association of Jamaica
He notes that the NHT has a tall order on its hands. “Let me say that I know that the demand for affordable housing is significant. I know for a fact that NHT came out with 1,500 unit in western Jamaica priced under $10 million earlier this year and got in excess of 15,000 applications from contributors. That shows demand is incredibly high. I know that they (the NHT) are unable to satisfy demand in the short term.
“So, the Guarantee Purchase Programme is an excellent idea. I applaud the NHT.”
According to its website, “The NHT introduced the ‘Guaranteed Purchase Programme’ in November 2018. Under this programme, developers conceptualise and execute their development plans, while the NHT absorbs the market risk by purchasing units in the development. This approach seeks to leverage the efficiencies within the private sector in order that units can be delivered at lower costs, within faster time frames and with the private partner assuming most of the implementation risks. The developers have sole responsibility for designing, implementing, maintaining and closing out the projects. The completed units will be made available to NHT contributors using NHT financing options for which they have to be qualified.”
This year, the NHT noted that 3,000 housing solutions have been provided in Westmoreland and St Catherine under this programme.