Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Wednesday (August 3) led the handing over of keys to a new set of Jamaicans at a fanfare-filled ceremony for Phase 1 of the Ruthven Towers development.
Ruthven Towers, which is conveniently located in the urban epicentre of New Kingston, is a gated eight-storey apartment building comprising 72 one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom solutions.
During his keynote address, Holness expressed that he was particularly elated that a majority of the selectees, approximately 66 per cent, were within the 25 to 40 age range.
He also indicated that Ruthven represented less than one per cent of the projects currently being undertaken by the National Housing Trust (NHT).
The prime minister used the opportunity of the handing over to clarify that the NHT’s housing programme is focused on bringing to market a mix of housing solutions with the majority being housing solutions for the affordable housing market. On that note of affordability, Holness informed that the NHT continues to adjust its policies and financing framework to make housing even more accessible.
“Each contributor now has an option to partner with other contributors with whom they are related to acquire the same housing solution…the loan ceilings have been increased and we have reduced interest rates, precisely to accommodate our affordable income and our lowest-earning Jamaicans, where these individuals pay as low as 0 per cent on their mortgage,” said Holness.
Member of Parliament for St Andrew South Eastern Julian Robinson, in his charge to residents, encouraged good community relations among owners to ensure that the property value is maintained.
Commenting on the NHT’s four-year housing programme, NHT chairman Lennox Channer highlighted that a total of 23,000 housing solutions were developed across the island under the programme.
“As we look to the years ahead, we continue to retool, reorganise and revisit our housing programme, to make homeownership a reality for more of our contributors… In addition to bringing more houses to market, we continue to refine and adjust financing arrangements and policies to facilitate affordability and access to housing,” noted Channer.
He further indicated that the NHT would continue to forge strategic partnerships to bring even more houses to market.
In an expression of gratitude, new homeowner Kirk Frankson effortlessly delivered a vote of thanks lauding the NHT staff for their exceptional customer service. He noted that Ruthven Towers was the epitome of convenience both in location and financing, corroborated by cheers and mumbles of agreement from fellow beneficiaries.
“To draw in the message of the Prime Minister of easy financing options, all of us actually experienced that and I think all of us have a mandate to go and actually share those with our family and friends. There are several options available from the NHT and we need to actually be champions of the NHT and those options,” Frankson beamed proudly.
Ruthven Towers features several amenities including a jogging track and walkways, underground parking, elevators, electronic controlled access and egress barriers via an intercom system. The development forms part of the several housing developments to be delivered under the NHT’s current housing plan for Kingston and St Andrew.
Some of the developments to be delivered include Majesty Gardens, Rasta City, Vineyard Town and Maxfield Park.