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Posted: Sunday 22 January, 2023 at 10:59 AM

Government working to fix NHC woes

By: Jermine Abel,

    …issues of mortgage non-payment still persist


    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - ADDRESSING challenges of people not paying mortgage for their homes to the National Housing Corporation (NHC) is of paramount importance for the Government, as it seek to build out the housing sector.


    Over the last several years, the Corporation has been hard hit with the fact that people have become delinquent in paying for homes that they would have received, and it has often left the agency in a bind when it comes to carrying out its mandate.


    Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, Minister of Housing, under which the NHC falls, explained that it is an area he has been working to get addressed since it is those payments that keep the Corporation functioning and carrying out other works.


    While speaking with the Minister, it was revealed that there is a high percentage of delinquents. 


    Recognizing the situation, he confirmed that the Government is working to implement a three-prong strategy on how it would be able to  address the challenges.


    “ One - We are going to reeducate our people. Two - We are looking at refinancing [in] putting persons in the best position of what they can afford to meet their mortgage. And three - We are establishing an entire Credit Department within the NHC, which would be responsible for receivables and calling persons,” Hanley noted.


    Though he did not provide a figure on the number of delinquents, the issue is one that has been ongoing for years. 


    Dr. Hanley however pointed out that as part of the new thrust to remedy the problem going forward, the Government would be hosting a number of programmes for new homeowners to ensure they are properly educated on taking on the responsibility of a mortgage payment.


    But even as efforts continue to tackle the problem head on, concerns are being raised over those who are dependent on the social programmes and how they too would be able to satisfy the monthly payments.


    Recognizing that there are a number of persons who would have gotten their homes and remain on the lower end of the income bracket, Minister Hanley said those on the Poverty Alleviation Programme could work to apply that payment to their mortgage. 


    He also stated, categorically, that the homes which some people had received from the previous administration or a Minister were “not a gift”, and as a result they should begin payment. 


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