A Small Loan for BIG things!
In a game changing move to create a mix of financing opportunities for low income earners, the National Housing Trust (NHT) has partnered with Credit Unions to set up a Housing Microfinance Loan Programme for contributors who earn $42,000 or less weekly. These contributors will be able to access credit of up to $1.5 million to help meet their respective housing needs.
Importantly, accessing funding through the programme will not hinder a borrower from accessing the housing benefit, to which he/she may be entitled, from the NHT. Therefore, it is possible for a beneficiary of the programme to receive $9 million in total funding ($7.5m directly from the NHT and $1.5m from the NHT Housing Microfinance Loan Programme).
Under the initiative, funds are made available for on-lending to current and new contributors to repair or improve their existing homes or build their own homes.
Contributors are able to borrow a maximum of $850,000 at any one point, up to a maximum of $1.5 million. The loans are offered with tenure of up to five years for services such as:
- land purchase
- infrastructure (upgrade or new)
- utilities installation
- construction preliminaries (e.g., valuation report, surveyor’s ID report, quantity surveyor’s report, housing design, approved building plan)
- completion of different stages – whether of a building or section of a building; or to install fixtures, fittings finishes
- new construction (incremental)
- down payments (deposits)
- solar (energy saving) products
With interest rates of six per cent for secured loans and nine per cent for unsecured loans, the programme boasts the most competitive microfinance rates on the market. The product is open to both existing and non-NHT contributors. Persons, who are not current NHT contributors however, must become registered to take advantage of this initiative.
The Housing Microfinance Loan Programme was initially announced by Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness during his budget presentation in March 2017. The NHT will periodically review the partnership agreement to include loan amount, terms and qualifying criteria with a view to ensure that a positive impact on contributors is being made.
Current participating credit unions include:
- Community &Workers of Jamaica (CWJ) Cooperative Credit Union
- Educom Co-operative Credit Union
- Jamaica Police Co-operative Credit Union
- Jamaica Defence Force Co-operative Credit Union
- First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union
- Public Sector Employees Cooperative Credit Union
- Lascelles Employees Co-operative Credit union
- Trelawny Co-operative Credit Union
- Manchester Co-operative Credit Union
- Correctional Services Co-operative Credit Union
- Gateway Co-operative Credit Union