Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 23, 2017 (SKNIS): Minister of Human Settlement with responsibility for Housing, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, has disclosed that since taking office, the government has managed to significantly reduce the level of delinquency by homeowners to the National Housing Corporation (NHC).
“We at NHC embarked on a programme to reduce the level of delinquency from 35 percent where we met it…and over the two year period, we have reached a point where, at least in our banks where no money was, we can claim to have a couple millions of dollars to be able to do some housing programmes, even beyond this programme that we are going to be embarking upon,” Minister Hamilton said, speaking on the government’s radio and television programme “Working for You” on February 22.
The minister assured that the government will continue to work with persons to ensure delinquency is at a minimum.
“We have instituted a new department—we call it a Client and Public Relations Unit that has started a programme that is certainly working wonders and getting people to appreciate the importance of their home and how to pay for it. This new (housing) programme that we are embarking upon, we will be vetting; I use the term vetting guardedly… (We treat) our clients very carefully and in the vetting process we will be counselling them, advising them on the importance of valuing the home that they’re getting. And so we will be having our monitoring system that will help them keep on track,” the minister added. He said the Team Unity Government will not be tolerating delinquency, but will help those persons who have become delinquent to get back on track.
According to Minister Hamilton, the level of delinquency that existed previously under the Labour Administration was unsustainable.
“Quite frankly, any other institution with that kind of delinquency would be out of business. No banks could sustain that kind of delinquency. They would be out of business,” Minister Hamilton said.
The Team Unity Government on February 17 launched its Unity Housing Solutions Programme where it plans to build 300 houses. The government on that same day signed a $50 million loan agreement with the Social Security Board, which will be used to build these homes.