Team Unity government ‘puts people first in housing sector’
From the press unit in the Office of the Prime Minister
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Close to 800 people in St. Kitts and Nevis have benefited across all government-supported home ownership initiatives under the Team Unity administration, says Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, who made that revelation during his 2018 Budget Address in the National Assembly Dec. 6.
Harris further revealed that in 2016 and 2017, the National Housing Corporation (NHC) invested approximately $11 million to construct 127 homes for low- and middle-income families under Phase One of the Unity Housing Solution Programme. Phase Two of this programme, which commenced in September of this year, will see the construction of an additional 114 homes around St. Kitts, bringing the total to 241 homes either completed or at various stages of completion.
Prime Minister Harris said, “The Honourable Minister [Eugene Hamilton] delights in talking about the expanded size of the Team Unity Housing Solutions [with] larger bedrooms and larger bathrooms because we are concerned about human dignity and we are concerned that our people have genuine access to quality and affordable homes.”
Additionally, approximately 300 property owners have received support under the First Time Home Owners Initiative. Through this programme, successful applicants are granted exemptions from import duty and customs service charge (CSC) on building materials up to a maximum value of $400,000. Any amount in excess of this value is subjected to the regular taxes and duties. The concession applies to building materials, whether imported or purchased locally.
Furthermore, the Funding for the Realization of Economic Empowerment through Subsidized Housing (FREESH) Programme has facilitated the construction of some 43 homes through the concessionary interest rate programme provided through the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank. Moreover, the Home Improvement Loan Programme (HELP) has assisted more than 200 people in the federation make much needed renovations and repairs to their households.