The NHT improves Home Grant offers, lowers interest rates on some loans, is working on computer system upgrades and is helping to make revenue collection easier in collaboration with the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), and National Insurance Scheme (NIS).
On the competition side, the NHT presents the top three NHT schemes for 2010-2011, as well as the winners in its 35th anniversary Model House Competition.
Additionally, the NHT is proud of being presented with the Bronze Award for third place in the Project Management Organization of the Year Competition for 2010
BETTER HOME GRANT DEAL FOR LOW-INCOME CONTRIBUTORS! 200 NEW GRANTS TO BE AWARDED SHORTLY
Hundreds of low income contributors to the NHT will now find home ownership easier and more affordable as a result of recently announced amendments to the Trust’s Home Grant Policy. These amendments come as the NHT prepares to invite applications for 200 new Home Grants at a value of $240 million.
Among the amendments are an extension of the time within which awardees must take up the grant before the offer expires; a removal of the 5% out-of pocket deposit to be paid by the beneficiary on any property being purchased, and the option to use a portion of the grant to purchase land for home construction. Effective immediately, new and existing Home Grant beneficiaries will:
- receive 100% financing to buy property valued up to $3.6 million,
- be able to access the full grant of $1.2 million, irrespective of the loan funds he/she is able to afford. Previously, $1.2 million represented the maximum grant that could be offered to an awardee,
- have up to two years to take up the grant before it expires. Previously, the offer of a Home Grant expired after one year. This extension allows beneficiaries additional time to locate properties within their affordability range, and
- be able to use their grant to buy land for home construction. Up to 40% of the grant can be used for this purpose.
The NHT periodically offers Home Grants of up to $1.2 million to contributors earning no more than $10,000 per week and who are not able to afford enough loan funds to purchase a studio unit. The Home Grant was introduced in 2010 as part of the NHT’ s policy to make housing benefits more accessibleto itslowest earning contributors.
NHT LOWERS DEVELOPERS’ INTEREST RATES TO BOOST CONSTRUCTION
Apart from improving grants for low income contributors, the NHT will lower interest rates on loans to private developers who build units to be sold on the open market, within specified NHT conditions with immediate effect.
In lowering the rates, the NHT is seeking to increase the number of units being brought to market at prices affordable to contributors. Initiatives aimed at developers are:
- An interest rate of 3% to developers who produce studio units at $3.5 million or less, and two-bedroom units at a cost of $5.5 million or less.
- Five percent on loans for projects which will bring to market, housing solutions equal to or less than NHT’s recommended selling price. This is a reduction from the previous 8%.
- A reduction from 12% to 9% in interest oninterim finance loans to produce housing solutions at a selling price above NHT’s recommended price.
MORE ATTRACTIVE INSTITUTIONAL LOANS
In addition to providing loans for developers, the NHT offers loans to help organizations in key sectors such as education, health and national security, to build housing units. In many cases, finance costs have inhibited institutions’ ability to take up these loans. In light of this, the NHT is now offering the following rates to entities wishing to access the Institutional Loan Programme:
- a 3% special rate targeted for special assistance projects which create housing solutions forlowest income earners.
- a 5% rate for housing constructed by institutions to accommodate staff members who are required to live on site, and who will not pay subsidized rates for such accommodation.
- an 8% rate for housing constructed by institutions to accommodate staff members and others who will pay the institutions for the use of those facilities. Student housing is one example of the facilities which fall under this category.
This measure, will allow more institutions to provide affordable housing facilities for their constituents: staff and/or students.
For more information about the improved institutional loans, improved Home Grants and improved developers’ interest rates, visit our website at: Revised NHT policies announced November 9, 2011
CONGRATULATIONS, NHT BEST SCHEMES!
As the NHT works to increase home ownership, the Trust is proud to present to all Jamaica, the top three NHT housing schemes in the 2010-2011 National Housing Trust Best Schemes Competition.
Here, Vice president of the Angels Grove Housing Scheme, Donna Marie Campbell (right) receives the winner’s trophy from NHT chairman, Howard Mitchell (centre) and NHT managing director, A. Cecile Watson (left).
They are: 1st - Angels Grove in St. Catherine, which was awarded a trophy and prize money of $1 million; 2nd - Delacree Park, St. Andrew, which received a trophy and a $600,000 cash prize; and 3rd - Mineral Heights in Clarendon, which also received a trophy and prize money of $400,000. The Trust also awarded 12 regional prizes, with Llandilo in Westmoreland, Boscobel in St. Mary, Greenwich Acres in St. Ann, and Angels Grove in St. Catherine receiving $100,000 each for topping their regions.
The NHT Best Schemes Competition, which was first held in 1993, is hosted biannually and seeks to build civic pride and community unity.
Winning communities may use cash awards to fund their projects. Over 80 NHT schemes across Jamaica entered this latest competition with projects in areas of culture, health, education, environmental awareness and governance.
CONGRATS: NHT MODEL HOUSE COMPETITION WINNERS-TOMORROW’S HOME DESIGNERS
During the NHT’s Best Schemes Awards ceremony, prizes were also awarded on November 9 to winners of the NHT 35th anniversary Model House Competition.
In the front row are three of the young winners, Racheal Morrison who won the prize for the best model overall; Adeliah Hibbert, prize winner for Surrey; and Obrian Lawrence, Cornwall.
In August 2011, the NHT invited young Jamaicans aged 8 – 12 years on a journey of the imagination which resulted in their designing models of the houses they would love to live in when they grow up. In keeping with its philosophy that partnerships are critical to national development, the Trust stipulated that children work with one parent to develop the model and share what they learned from the experience. Another requirement was thatthe models be constructed within a specific budget so as to help the participants develop awareness of the financial discipline required to translate a dream home into reality.
NHT WINS PROJECT MANAGEMENT AWARD FOR 2010
Also scoring big in competition was the NHT as the NHT Project Management Office (PMO) received the Bronze Award for third place in the Project Management Organization of the Year Competition on Thursday, November 3, 2011, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica. The competition, which is hosted annually by the Project Management Institute Ja. Doctor Bird Chapter (PMI JDBC), judges organisations that best exemplify the application of project management principles and practices in accordance with the Project Management Institute guidelines. The NHT entered the competition for the first time.
NHT’s rep., Sharon Babolal-Chin, receives the Award of Merit from Keith Whyte, Incoming Director of Corporate Relations of The Project Management Institute Ja. Doctor Bird Chapter (PMI JDBC) on Thursday, November 3, 2011 at the Knutsford Court Hotel, Kingston Jamaica.
SINGLE EMPLOYER’S ANNUAL RETURN FORM TO BE INTRODUCED BY YEAR END
Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), in partnership with the National Housing Trust (NHT), and National Insurance Scheme (NIS) is in the final phase of introducing a single Employer’s Annual Return (S02) form which will incorporate PAYE (INCOME TAX), EDUCATION TAX, NHT and NIS information. As of December 31, 2011, therefore, employers must no longer submit separate annual returns to the respective statutory agencies for the calendar year 2011 and onwards. They must instead, file a single annual return form to report on ALL payroll activities. Returns for 2011, filed on the old forms and submitted separately, will not be accepted.
The new Employer’s Annual Return (S02) consolidates and will replace the following returns:
- C4 – Employer’s Annual Return: Declaration and Certificate (NIS/NHT)
- IT06 – Employer’s Annual Return PAYE (Income Tax)
- IT06 – PAYE Employer’s Annual Return Schedule 5 & 6
- ET02 - EDTAX Self-Employed Annual Return (with employees)
- ET03 - EDTAX Organization Annual Return
As the government moves to further improve the ease of doing business in Jamaica, employers will be able to submit the new single S02, along with the relevant schedules at any Revenue Service Centre, Tax Office or NHT Office. They will no longer need to send in deduction cards to the NIS Office. For even greater convenience, they are encouraged to register to submit the single return via the Tax Administration’s online tax portal at www.jamaicatax-online.gov.jm.
Because the single filing requirement applies only to returns for 2011 and onwards, any outstanding payroll annual returns for prior years should be filed directly at the respective agencies on the old forms.
Earlier in the year, the tax authority and statutory agencies invited the input of business persons, representatives of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ), as well as payroll software developers to finalize the form. Based on feedback from these stakeholders it was proposed that the filing due date for the Employer’s Annual Return be changed from January 14 to March 31. A Cabinet submission has been drafted outlining the required legislative change to implement the new single S02 form and to change the filing due date.
As a result of the planned changes, employers will be able submit ONE FORM, ONE PLACE, ONE DATE.
Persons may contact the Tax Administration Customer Care Centre at 1-888-Tax-Help (829-4357) or visit the website www.jamaicatax.gov.jm for details on the new service or on how to register for online filing. Or visit the NHT website at frequently asked questions
COMPUTER SYSTEMS UPGRADE TO SERVE YOU BETTER
Other improvements are now underway, as on Friday, December 2, the NHT will be upgrading its collections and payment systems. As a result, there may be delays in processing some transactions on that day and during the week of December 5. The Trust apologises for any inconvenience this may cause.
To keep updated on these and other improvements, visit the NHT website at: www.nht.gov.jm