The National Housing Trust, NHT would like to place on record its response to a Gleaner article on Sunday May 29, 2022; ‘NHT Bungle’. The article claims among other things, that there are ‘structural issues’ identified at the NHT’s Ruthven Towers development which is currently in the final stages of construction.
The NHT wishes to make it categorically clear that there are no ‘structural issues’ at Ruthven Towers. In fact, since construction, no structural issues have been identified at any stage of the project.
The NHT notes further that at no point during the article is anything mentioned that supports the claim that the structural integrity of the development has been compromised.
This subheading used in the article (‘Structural issues’ at upscale Ruthven Towers prevent owners from occupying apartments’), attributed to unnamed “senior officials at the NHT”, is therefore not only inaccurate but very irresponsible.
The NHT can confirm that it is indeed awaiting a shipment of stairwell fire doors for the development. The logistics to have them manufactured and delivered to Jamaica from China have been extensive having ordered same from July last year. The NHT expects the delivery and installation of the fire doors to be completed by the end of July. In the meantime, the NHT continues to work on other minor finishes that will allow for more comfortable occupancy by the new homeowners.
On the matter of the selection of the new homeowners, as was previously indicated, the process for Ruthven Towers is ongoing. The process involves verifying the eligibility status of applicants; verifying the authenticity of documents submitted during the application process as well as conducting loan interviews. This selection process is standard across all NHT schemes and is not restricted to any particular time frame. Each applicant is assessed and where eligibility is determined, processed accordingly.
Should for any reason a selectee is no longer interested and has expressed this or failed to respond to an offer over a stipulated period of time, the NHT moves to the next person in the queue until all applicants have been assessed for eligibility.
As it relates to the financial arrangements on offer, the NHT from its suite of financing options makes available alternative financing arrangements outside of the standard loan facilities to include intergenerational mortgages, lease to own, deferred mortgages among other facilities. All these financing arrangements are being explored and offered to applicants, as is customary across all NHT schemes. The suggestion that the NHT’s approach to Ruthven Towers is unorthodox, is therefore disingenuous.
Finally, the NHT notes with concern social media posts suggesting that NHT mortgagors have been losing their homes and other claims about the operations of the Trust that have been attributed to unnamed ‘NHT officials’. These claims are false. In fact, from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHT has taken a decision not to dispose of any properties via public auction but instead has offered forbearance measures that have assisted many mortgagors who were in arrears, even before the pandemic, to regularise their status.
The NHT assures its contributors that the institution remains committed to addressing their homeownership goals and hope that the above assists in clarifying the misinformation that is in the public domain.
Corporate Communications & Marketing Department.
National Housing Trust
4 Park Blvd