11 Aug THE NHT IS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE NOT A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION
THE NHT IS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE NOT A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION – PNP
Greater Clarity needed from the NHT and Office of the Prime Minster
The Opposition notes with concern the recent announcement that the NHT will be requiring credit report from its borrowers.
The Opposition finds little comfort in the statement issued by the NHT as it only serves to further muddle the issue of the role of the credit report.
The NHT is a social approach to housing not a financial institution and when market driven considerations are being utilized, it fundamentally changes the role of the Trust and has the ability to drive people away from seeking the benefits it provides.
The Opposition views the requirement of a credit report as an unnecessary, bureaucratic and penal process, which contributors should not be asked to unexpectedly face. Additionally, the NHT has a very extensive assessment regime which provides all the relevant information it needs to make the determination and undertake the projects or initiatives it mentions. The question therefore from the Opposition is, what really is the Government’s true motive behind such a dire action?
Opposition Spokesman on Housing Luther Buchanan said, “Home ownership must remain a deep-seated part of our development as a nation, as it has a significant impact on people’s self worth, civic mindedness, community participation and overall quality of life.” “Nothing therefore must be done to stymie the common person’s ability to own a home and this new contemplation by the government does not help their cause.”
According to Senator Sophia Frazer-Binns, Opposition Spokesperson on Land, the NHT remains one of the unsullied examples of how public institutions should work for our people. She said, “We as the Opposition treasure the concept of the NHT and are very proud of the Trust’s historical successes of providing shelter for thousands of Jamaicans, so nothing must be done to put a damper on this.”
FIVE QUESTIONS FOR THE NHT AND OPM
The Opposition therefore seeks answers to these specific questions from the NHT and the Office of the Prime Minster:
- Is NHT still operating as a social enterprise (Trust) or a Financial Institution?
- What is the exact role and purpose of the credit report if not used to consider the amount of mortgage one can benefit from and the amount of money an institution can lend?
- Is this what the Prime Minster meant when he said the Trust must develop a fiduciary relationship with its contributors?
The NHT has said the credit report “will assist the Trust in loan rescheduling, granting moratoria or other initiatives to assist mortgagors in arrears or facing difficulties.
- How does the Trust envision this working and will it require credit report for new and existing beneficiaries?
- How will the credit report assist the NHT in identifying consumers in need of special provisions?
- Has the Trust changed its policy on granting of subsidies?
- Who will bear the cost of the credit report?
- Have there been any consultations with beneficiaries and companies both private and public?
- Senator Sophia Frazer-Binns, Opposition Spokesperson on Land
- Opposition Spokesman on Housing Luther Buchanan