Government to Facilitate Private Sector Role in Housing as NHC Celebrates 20 Years‏

Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 26, 2016 (SKNIS): The private sector of St. Kitts and Nevis is being encouraged to do its part in the housing sector, which is expected to contribute toward growth in the economy of the Federation.

 This was said by Minister of Human Settlement, Honourable Eugene Hamilton, who presented an address at the Word of Life New Testament Church of God on September 26.  Attendance of the church service by National Housing Corporation (NHC) personnel, families and well-wishers, served as part of the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the organisation.

 Minister Hamilton stated that while NHC had constructed over 2,000 homes over the past 20 years, the private sector would now be given the opportunity to invest in the human settlement sector.

 “While the period (past 20 years) saw a focus on NHC leading the construction of homes and while NHC will continue to build for the poor and indigent, governments’ focus will be shifted to private sector-driven home-construction over the next few years, so that the economy could realise faster growth as a result of private sector investment,” Minister Hamilton said.  “We will incentivise the private sector so that they can become engaged in home construction especially for the middle income families. This is expected to relieve the persistent pressure on NHC to be processing applications for applicants that do not qualify under the Act.”

 The Human Settlement Minister said that the construction industry serves as a measure of improvement in the economy and that the government would provide the means in this particular field, for the private sector to expand.

 “My ministry recognises that home construction is the best indicator of economic growth, but also acknowledge that no government can engage in construction to the extent that the private sector is adversely affected by government driven home construction,” Minister Hamilton said.

“That being said, I congratulate NHC on its twentieth anniversary and for its contribution so far to nation building and I trust that for the next twenty years its contribution will be wrapped in accountability that breathes confidence into the financial sector to see NHC as a worthy customer capable of meeting its commitments independently of the State despite its obvious connection to the State.”

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