Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris.

Home ownership levels in St. Kitts and Nevis have significantly increased over the past four years, especially for first-time home owners, according to comments by Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris at his monthly press conference on Thursday.

“Under the First-Time Home Mortgage Programme, persons who are building their first home are afforded duty free concessions by the Government and all materials necessary for the construction of their home,” Prime Minister Harris said.“In 2014, 114 applications were approved. Since 2015, 525 applications have been approved on building materials totaling $147 million.  We are encouraging home ownership. We are making a start, but we know that we still have to do a lot more to ensure that all of our people who want a house can get one.

“The Team Unity Government knows how important housing is to our people and we are committed to supporting them. We determined that this was an important part of the empowerment of our people,” the prime minister added. “And while the government through the National Housing Corporation (NHC) and through other agencies has been targeting those at the lower level, other persons deserve opportunities too and by giving them the substantial discount via the waiver of duty-free, we make home ownership easier.”

The prime minister and minister of finance encouraged saving as a crucial component of ensuring home ownership.

“In the meantime, we encourage all who are desirous of home ownership to begin to save. It is important, it is a lifetime investment and it is the most significant investment you will make,” he said.