(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, said Tuesday’s presentation of 14 brand new National Housing Corporation (NHC) homes to deserving families is yet another example of his administration carrying out its mandate to improve the lives of citizens and residents through homeownership.
The houses, located at Cunningham Heights, Spooners in Cayon, were unveiled during a special key presentation ceremony that was attended by top Government officials, including Prime Minister Harris; Minister of Human Settlement, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, and Attorney General, the Honourable Vincent Byron, as well as representatives from NHC including General Manager, Mrs. Elretha Simpson-Browne, family members, friends and well-wishers of the 14 new homeowners.
This first batch of houses falls under Phase 1 of the Government’s Unity Housing Solution Programme, which began earlier this year. This programme, which is being carried out under the supervision of the NHC, will see the construction of roughly 300 affordable homes throughout St. Kitts for lower and middle income families.
During his presentation, Prime Minister Harris noted that more than 100 persons have received homes to date under the Team Unity administration.
The Honourable Prime Minister further stated that the Unity Housing Solution Programme, coupled with the first time homeowners’ initiative, is a clear indication of the progress being made in the housing sector under his Team Unity-led administration.
Through the programme for first-time homeowners, over 200 persons so far have been granted exemptions from Import Duty and Customs Service Charge (CSC) on building materials up to a maximum value of $400,000. Under this programme, 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.
Since 2015, close to 300 persons have benefitted under this initiative, which was extended by the Federal Cabinet to the end of December 2018.
“The Minister of Human Settlement said they are on track to deliver the 300 houses promised under the Social Security funding,” Dr. Harris stated, referencing the $50 million loan that was secured in February 2017. “But equally…before that, we delivered over 120 homes,” Prime Minister Harris added.
The Government has also introduced a restructured three-tiered income-based repayment plan, where persons who earn under $3,500 per month pay a two percent interest rate, those who earn between $3,500 and $5,000 per month pay a three percent interest rate, and persons who earn over $5,000 per month pay a five percent interest rate on a maximum 30-year mortgage.
Prime Minister Harris emphasized, “Where in the world could you get a mortgage financed at two percent? We have now introduced that. This is the best package that is available anywhere in the world thanks to Team Unity’s approach to housing development.”