NHT Pleased with Response to Guaranteed Purchase Programme

The National Housing Trust (NHT) is expressing pleasure with the response of developers to its Guaranteed Purchase Programme (GPP).

GPP is a new initiative through which the NHT agrees to purchase houses for its customers that are designed and constructed by private builders.

NHT Managing Director, Martin Miller, said that “numerous developers” have expressed an interest in the GPP since its launch last November.

He noted that the agency has already met with about 30 developers, with five projects approved, while four others are being reviewed.

The approved projects, which will deliver 2,143 new homes, comprise 2,050 one- and two-bedroom units in St. Catherine, another 41 in Westmoreland and 52 two-bedroom houses in St. Elizabeth.

“This programme is a clear indication of the NHT’s effort to work with developers to see how we can get units to the market at a reasonable pace and at very, very attractive prices,” Mr. Miller said.

“Under the programme, the developer does what he is best at, which is to do the construction, and have it done with certain quality, location, et cetera, and we at NHT will do our own monitoring. The market risk is removed, so that is one step in contributing to the reduction of the price of the solutions,” he explained.

Mr. Martin was speaking at the breaking of ground for the first project under the initiative, at Silver Sun Estate in Innswood, St. Catherine, on Wednesday (April 24).

The development involves construction of 1,200 two-bedroom houses by West Indies Home Contractors Limited (WIHCON), which will be sold through the NHT.

WIHCON expects to deliver the first 200 houses in phase one by March 2020.

Mr. Martin said that “this ground-breaking represents the first of what we hope will be many more to come”.

Meanwhile, WIHCON Chairman, Peter Melhado, said his company is pleased to partner with the NHT on this new public-private sector initiative.

“We think this is yet another innovation by NHT aimed at addressing the shortage of housing… and particularly, the shortage of houses in the affordable category,” he noted.

Mr. Melhado said that the ground breaking follows meetings with the NHT team in November and again in January.

“It’s noteworthy to say that the two entities have worked together to move from a well-developed concept to having a contractual framework in a short (time)… . We look forward to many of these developments in the future with NHT as a partner,” he said.