Over the years, the NHT has implemented a series of new policy measures, and modified its programmes and procedures, all in the interest of being able to serve its contributors more efficiently. Firmly committed to a customer satisfaction philosophy, the NHT will continue to exercise flexibility and be proactive in its drive to keep the hope of affordable housing alive for its thousands of contributors.
1976 - 1977
In January 1976, the National Housing Trust was established through an amendment to the NIS Act (1976).
Computerised Random Selection Process introduced
Beneficiaries for NHT loans were first selected through the Random Selection System. This was the first attempt to bring about impartiality in the selection process by ensuring that each applicant had an equal chance of being selected for a benefit.
First Selection of beneficiaries
The first mortgage selection under the Random Selection Process took place on July 1, 1976 before a live audience in the studios of the then Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC).
In its first year of operations, the NHT received loan applications from 23,383 contributors. Of this number 5,292 were selected, 193 of whom actually took up their benefits that year.
Loans awarded by benefit-category in the first year of operation were: Schemes 178- Open Market 8- Home Improvement 5- Build on Own Land 2.
Establishment of first NHT- financed Scheme
Ashley Hall in Clarendon, Seville in St. Ann, Lower Works in St. Elizabeth, were the first three Schemes to be marketed by the Trust.
1977 - 1978
First Annual Report
The NHT published its first annual report for the financial year ending March 31 1976.
Contribution Certificates Issued for the first time
The Trust completed preparatory work to enable it to issue certificates of contribution to its contributors for the first time.
1978 - 1979
Payments through Commercial Banks
In January 1979, the Trust changed its system of collection, thereby allowing all payments to the Trust to be made through commercial banks, instead of via the collectorates.
NHT gets its own Charter
The National Housing Trust Act was passed in 1979. Among its clauses was the allocation of inspectorate powers to the Trust's Officers which would enable them to monitor arrears of contributors, effect compliance with regulations and ensure that proper returns are made by employers on a timely basis.
1979 - 1980
Special Loan facility for the Disabled
A special housing benefit policy was introduced to grant loans at concessionary rates to persons with disabilities.
1982 - 1983
New Housing Policy Implemented
Under the new government's new housing policy:
- NHT switched to a mortgage financing institution: The role of the NHT was changed from that of being a provider of both mortgage and interim finance, to that of providing mortgage finance only.
- Priority Entitlement Index (PEI) Selection System Introduced: The Priority Entitlement Index System was introduced to replace the Random selection System. Under the PEI, loan financing went to eligible contributors having higher ratings within income groups.
- New Mortgage Payment System introduced: The Graduated Payment Mortgage (GPM) Plan was introduced. The plan is intended to increase contributors' affordability for loans. It allows for lower monthly payments in the earlier life of the mortgage. It was expected to be particularly beneficial to those contributors in the lower income groups.
1983 - 1984
First Cash Grants (now called Contributions Refund) paid out
The processing and paying out of the first Cash Grants to contributors was made possible this year. Contributions Refund becomes payable in the eighth year after the contributions are made.
1984 - 1985
NHT moves into its own new Corporate office at 4 Park Boulevard.
1985 - 1986
Introduction of the Priority Index Entitlement (PIE) Selection System
The PEI system was revised to give way to the PIE system for selecting persons for NHT loans. Under the PIE system, contributors were selected for loans based on their number of contributions, their income and ownership of NHT Home Bonds.
1986 - 1987
NHT's 10th anniversary
The NHT's assets surpassed the billion dollar mark.
Mortgage Credit Certificate and Home Bonds facilities launched
The Mortgage Credit Certificate loan programme, now known as the Joint Mortgage Facility, was introduced. It enabled mortgagors to access additional funds from other financing agencies.
1988 - 1989
Mortgage disbursement reaches $ billion mark
In this year, for the first time the total value of mortgage loans disbursed by the Trust in any one year reached the billion dollar mark – ($1.02 billion to be exact).
The Special Hurricane Loan Programme launched
$50 million was approved by the Prime Minister to provide loans to NHT contributors who were not beneficiaries but who had suffered damage to their homes in the hurricane.
1989 - 1990
NHT returns to role of mortgage financier and developer
The Trust returned to its role of providing interim financing for projects as was laid out in the NHT Act. This was aimed at stimulating housing construction particularly for target groups accessing NHT benefits. As another strategy for increasing the housing supply, the NHT was encouraged to undertake joint-venture projects with developers in the private and public sectors.
Mortgage Repayment period for women extended
This decision to implement a new policy would enable female mortgagors up to age 65 to repay their mortgages, instead of the previous 60-year-old age stipulation.
Greater Portmore Project launched
The largest single housing project to be built in Jamaica was started at the Greater Portmore Scheme in St. Catherine. Funds were budgeted in this fiscal year to assist in financing the building of 10,000 new units over four years.
1990 - 1991
Daily Intake Application Intake System Instituted
Contributors could now submit applications for all loan-types, except for Scheme benefits, on any working day of the week. Previously all applications for loans were restricted to a cyclical intake. The new measure created more customer-convenience in the loan application process.
Land Banking Policy developed
1992 - 1993
The Roy McGregor award
Incorporated Master Builders' Association awarded NHT the Roy McGregor award for Outstanding work performed in the building industry over the years.
Serviced Lot Benefit type introduced
This loan type is geared towards low-income earners who could not afford to buy a completed unit. It entailed the sale of developed lots in NHT schemes.
The NHT's Best Scheme Competition
The competition was launched to assist in the development of a positive image for NHT schemes. The competition encourages mortgagors to fulfill their civic responsibilities as well as their financial obligations to the Trust.
1994 - 1995
The House Lot and Individual Benefit Policy launched.
Through the Individual Benefit programme, up to 3 applicants can pool their individual NHT loans to purchase the same property. Through the House Lot loan facility, contributors could now access funds for the purpose of purchasing land being sold on the general housing market.
NHT's annual financial statements become current
A first in the history of the organization, this achievement resulted from a major drive to clean up the accounting records and institute systems that would allow for timely and accurate collection and compilation of NHT financial information.
First three year strategic plan introduced
This was intended to improve the NHT's long term planning capability.
1995 - 1996
NHT's 20th Anniversary celebrations
NHT awards its 50,000th mortgage
1997 - 1998
Launch of Citizens' Charter
This charter document outlines the basic standards of service that NHT customers should expect when doing business with the Trust.
1998 - 1999
Caribbean Employers Federation Award
NHT receives award for Innovative Human Resources and Industrial Relations practices.
1999 - 2000
Jamaica Employers Federation Award
NHT receives award for Public Sector Leadership.
Review of NHT's Housing Policy
- The various income bands linked to the NHT's rates of interest were revised.
- The interest rates linked to the income bands were also modified. Instead of 5 interest rates with the highest being 14%, the revision resulted in 4 rates, with the highest being 12%, and the lowest being 2%.
Restructuring of Branch Operations
A new branch structure was developed to grant greater servicing autonomy at the local (regional) level.
Home Bonds Facility phased out
2000 - 2001
Implementation of ICBS (new computer system)
The International Comprehensive Banking System (ICBS) is a banking software package which will enhance NHT's operations, particularly those related to the management of the loans and contributions portfolios. The system's capabilities for increasing operational efficiencies will help the Trust to align its operations with the way some of the best companies in the world do business. ICBS allows for on-line, real-time processing.
2002 - 2003
On Wednesday, July 31 2002, the NHT opened Emancipation Park. Located on the former Liguanea lands “dust bowl”, the site features a variety of flora, a bandstand, jogging track, fountains, reflecting pools and an Emancipation sculpture. It commemorates the contributions made by their ancestors to the abolition of slavery.
New Individual Benefit Policy
National Housing Trust changes its loan qualifying requirements, reducing the period over which persons are required to contribute before applying for housing loans from 169 weeks to 52 weeks. Individual loan was raised to $1 million for new homeowners.
Joint Financing Mortgage Programme
NHT makes the building society a direct partner with the NHT in underwriting home loans to NHT contributors. It will replace the pari-passu arrangement.
The Inner City Housing Project
The NHT’s initiates a three-year project to improve the living conditions of people in selected inner city communities. Five billion dollars have been committed to the re-housing of three thousand households and the refurbishing of several other run-down communities across the island.
Telephone Banking and Debit/Credit Card Payment introduced
In the first quarter of 2004 customers were introduced to more convenient ways of paying their mortgage. Telephone Banking allowed customers to pay their mortgage from anywhere and at anytime via a touch-tone telephone. With Credit or Debit Card payment they can make a direct payment at any NHT office, whether it be a regional office, a branch or a service centre.
Restructuring of Senior Management
On April 2004 a new Senior Management structure took effect which saw two Senior General Managers with responsibility for Corporate Services and Operations/Finance respectively replacing the four positions of senior director. The restructuring is the outcome of an initiative to re-align the organisational’s design with its new strategic direction.
NHT Hands Over First Inner-City Housing Project Scheme
The NHT handed over the Denham Town Housing Scheme, the first of the Inner-City Housing Project (ICHP) schemes in July 2005. The site, which is located at Little King Street consists of 94 apartments.
NHT Celebrates 30th Anniversary
The NHT hosted a number of events throughout the year of its 30th Anniversary. The first activity was a media launch held at Emancipation Park on February 1. On that occasion, then Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson announced a range of benefits to contributors including increased loan limits and new loan-types. These came into effect on April 1. Other Anniversary activities included a Housing Symposium, a youth poster competition, Customer Appreciation Events, island-wide church services and Long Service Awards.
For the 2007/2008 financial year, the NHT retained its position as the leading mortgage financier in the island providing 6, 947 mortgages at a value of $12.5 billion. As reported in the 2007 Economic and Social Survey of Jamaica, the NHT accounted for more than 50% of the number of mortgages provided nationally.
An Internet-based system was introduced for contributions refund application. The number of persons utilising the option in 2007/2008 was 76,977, an increase of approximately 15,000 persons. 151,453 contributors received refunds at a value of $2.3 billion up 35% from $1.7 billion for the previous year.
Firmly committed to a customer satisfaction philosophy, the NHT will continue to exercise flexibility and be proactive in its drive to keep the hope of affordable housing alive for its thousands of contributors.