By Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Housing in the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis confirms that a high percentage of homeowners are not meeting their monthly mortgage obligations to the National Housing Corporation (NHC).
“As I am the Minister of the National Housing Corporation, on assuming that responsibility there are a number of concerns we had within the organisation as it relates to the financial aspects of it. There is a high percentage of persons who are not meeting their mortgage payment, and of course you know that the Corporation depends on the monthly mortgage to keep things going and to being in a position to build and assist others.”
The matter at hand, according to Hon. Dr. Geoffrey Hanley is being reviewed; as it is paramount that the financial concerns be addressed for the stability of the National Housing Corporation and the homeowners themselves.
“Recognising that these are some challenges that we face, we are working on how we would be able to address some of these and we are doing it in a three-prong approach:
- We are going to re-educate persons, 2) We are looking at refinancing; putting persons in the best position that they can afford to meet their mortgage and 3) We are developing a whole Credit Department within the NHC which would be responsible for receivables and calling persons to give them their notice of their due dates for their mortgage.”
Dr. Hanley further mentioned that as part of the new thrust going forward training sessions will be conducted that potential homeowners will have to go through, geared towards preparing them for the responsibility of mortgage payment.
Quite a number of homeowners of NHC are low-income earners and are highly dependent on the social welfare programmes, such as the Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP). Dr. Hanley said he is hopeful that such individuals, once they were having difficulties meeting their monthly obligations to NHC, would apply the PAP payment to their mortgage.