Shaw Moves to Explain Holness’ NHT Comments

Finance Minister Audley Shaw has sought to explain recent utterances of Prime Minister Andrew Holness regarding the National Housing Trust.

Mr. Holness stunned the country at the start of the weekend when he declared at a function in Darliston, Westmoreland that the NHT was a financial institution and not a housing agency.

There have since been calls for him to explain the statement.

The matter was put to the Finance Minister yesterday during his post budget media briefing.

Minister Shaw said the thinking of the administration is that funds from the NHT can be used to improve the housing stock across the country.

He emphasized though that he was not making an announcement on policy just yet.

The National Housing Trust was created by statute.

The Housing Trust Act outlines that its function includes adding and improving the existing supply of housing by promoting housing projects to such extent as may from time to time be approved by the

It’s also to make available to such contributors as may be prescribed, loans to assist in the purchase, building, maintenance, repair or improvement of houses; and encourage and stimulate improved methods of production of houses.

The legislation also speaks to enhancing the usefulness of the funds of the Trust by promoting greater efficiency in the housing sector.

It has been amended in recent years to allow for draw downs for specific reasons other than housing construction or financing purposes.