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New NHT Benefits Take Effect July 1

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MEDIA RELEASE

 

Effective Monday, July 1, 2024, the National Housing Trust (NHT) will be launching a series of policy changes and initiatives that will significantly benefit contributors looking to buy or improve their homes.

Expansion of the 10 Plus Home Improvement Loan  As more Jamaicans become homeowners, there has been an increased demand for home-improvement financing. Come Monday, all mortgagors, will be able to access their home improvement loan after only ten years, a significant reduction from the previous 15year wait time.  With a maximum loan amount of up to $3.5 million, contributors will be able to undertake more extensive renovations to their properties with a shorter wait period.

SMART Energy Home Improvement Loan

Contributors will also be able to access financing for a range of renewable energy products under the NHT’s SMART Energy Loan. Under this loan facility, homeowners may access up to $1.5 million to install energy-saving technology such as solar panels, batteries, solar-water heaters, solar insulation, as well as other renewable energy technology including windmills, hydropower, and biomass. In addition, homeowners can also use the loan to install rainwater harvesting and storage systems, including tanks and pumps. Contributors will access this loan at a standard 5% interest rate with a payback period of up to ten (10) years or by the time the homeowner reaches the age of seventy (70), whichever comes first. This initiative promotes climate change resilience through improved energy saving technologies, further enforcing NHT’s commitment to environment sustainability.

SMART Energy Grant (Public Sector Pensioners)

In addition to the Smart Energy Loan, the NHT is expanding its grant offering with the introduction of the Smart Energy Grant. The programme will target public sector pensioners, who will be able to access to up to $1.5 million to enhance their homes with energy saving technologies. The Smart Energy Grant will benefit 30 pensioners per parish each year, for the next three (3) years. Beneficiaries will be selected at random based on the following criteria:

  • At the point of retirement, the pensioner was earning less than $30,000.99 per week;
  • Must be a homeowner (this includes owners of non-NHT constructed houses)
  • Must be 60 years or older;
  • Must not have already installed these systems;

Preference will be given to pensioners living in areas with unreliable or irregular electricity supply. This grant will help them reduce their utility bills and minimise their environmental impact. The NHT will advise when it will begin accepting applications for the Smart Energy Grant.

Policy Change to Benefit Young Adults

To address the rising need for housing among young Jamaicans, the

NHT will now reserve a minimum of 10% of NHT’s housing solutions to contributors under 36 years old. With the NHT’s 100% financing (subject to affordability) for its scheme development, this new policy change opens the door for more young people to access NHT developments.

Homestarter Programme

The state-owned entity will also make homeownership a reality for more young adults with its Homestarter Programme. The programme offers one-bedroom starter apartment complexes with easy access to urban centres. An innovative feature of the programme is its optional buy-back clause, which allows contributors to sell their units back to the NHT within a 15-year time span. This will free up the new mortgagor to access a new non-homeowner’s loan benefit from the NHT for the purchase of a new home. Currently the programme includes housing developments in Vineyard Town and Howard Avenue, St. Andrew, and a planned development at Barracks Road, St James.

As the NHT strives to improve and enhance its products and services, making homeownership more accessible for its contributors, it also prioritises environment sustainability and care. For more information on these new policies visit our website www.nht.gov.jm.

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Tim and Henry to the Rescue: A Harrowing Search and Rescue Mission Highlights Need for Marine Vessel in Grand Turk

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#TurksandCaicos, July 12, 2024 – At approximately 2:45 pm on July 12th, a 911 emergency call came in from the police department in Grand Turk, informing Ed Forbes of a distressing situation. Four young adult tourists had gone out on paddle boards off Cork Tree Beach in Grand Turk, when one of them fell off the board and could not get back on. Evidently, they underestimated the wind speed and their own brute strength.

Ed Forbes, co-owner of Exclusive Escapes Grand Turk, played a pivotal role in coordinating the rescue. Responding swiftly to the emergency call, he immediately reached out to the local search and rescue team. His prompt actions and calm demeanor were instrumental in mobilizing the necessary resources.

Within 20 minutes or so, Tim from Emerald Escapes, along with Henry and Kindry from Blue Water Divers, were on the scene. Their experience and swift response were crucial in ensuring the safety of the stranded paddleboarders. Working seamlessly together, they managed to locate and rescue all four individuals without any need for medical attention.

However, this incident also underscores a critical issue that has long plagued Grand Turk: the need for a dedicated marine vessel for search and rescue operations and cruise passengers incidents. Despite numerous promises made to concerned citizens over the years, this vital resource remains unavailable.

The swift response of Tim, Henry, and Kingdry highlights the community’s resilience and dedication, but it also brings to light the gaps in emergency preparedness that could be addressed with better equipment and support.

A dedicated marine vessel would significantly enhance the efficiency and safety of rescue operations, ensuring that responses to such emergencies are even more effective.

Ed Forbes
Concerned Citizen

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Invest TCI Opens New Office in Grand Turk

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PRESS RELEASE

 

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – July 11th, 2024—Invest Turks and Caicos Islands (Invest TCI) proudly announces the launch of its new office in Grand Turk, located at the Digicel Building on Old Airport Road. The grand opening of the new location occurred on Friday, July 5th, 2024, under the theme “Empowering Enterprises in the Capital.”

The establishment of the new office marks a significant milestone in Invest TCI’s growth strategy. The primary objective of the expansion is to provide enhanced services and support to the business community in Grand Turk. By increasing operational capacity, Invest TCI aims to facilitate sustained growth and success for enterprises within the country.  Beyond economic advancement, this initiative is set to yield substantial community benefits, including the creation of employment opportunities.

The grand opening ceremony attracted a diverse range of attendees, including recipients of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) programme, members of the business community, government officials, and Invest TCI staff. The event was moderated by Mr. Keno Forbes, Vice President of Investor Services. Special remarks were delivered by the Premier, Hon. Charles Washington Misick, who congratulated the InvestTCI team on their hard work and encouraged the community to take advantage of the benefits offered by the new office. He reiterated the government’s commitment to creating a supportive environment for businesses in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Additional remarks were provided by Invest TCI Chairperson, Ms. Cindy Ewing; Business Advisor, Ms. Lashena Simmons; Director of the Business Support Unit, Mrs. Anissa Adderley; and Vice President of SME, Ms. Alexa Cooper. Their contributions highlighted the collaborative effort and dedication that have driven the success of Invest TCI initiatives.

Expressing her enthusiasm for the new office, Invest TCI CEO, Mrs. Angela Musgrove, stated, “Our vision is clear and compelling: to further empower Invest Turks and Caicos Islands, the agency offers incentives and support that enable more efficient and innovative practices. We are committed to helping businesses thrive, and in doing so, we are helping our entire community.”

Invest TCI recognizes the integral role that Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises play in the economic and social development of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Through its Business Support Unit, the agency provides comprehensive support services to startups and existing entrepreneurs, ensuring they have the tools and resources to succeed.

The grand opening of the new office in Grand Turk represents a significant step forward in Invest TCI’s mission to support and empower businesses across the islands. The agency looks forward to fostering economic growth and development and ensuring a prosperous future for all.

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LAST AMERICAN TOURIST SENTENCED TO A FINE OF $1500.00 OR SIX MONTHS IMPRISONMENT IN DEFAULT, SHE’S ALSO SENTENCED TO 23 WEEKS IMPRISONMENT SUSPENDED FOR ONE YEAR

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(Thursday, July 11th, 2024) Turk and Caicos Islands – The last of five American tourists arrested in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) for being in unlawful possession of  ammunition could finally leave the TCI today, Thursday, July 11th, 2024.

Sharitta Grier 46 pleaded guilty on 25th June to having two rounds of.38 ammunition in her bags, at the Howard Hamilton International Airport in Providenciales on Monday 13th May, 2024, when leaving the Turks and Caicos Islands after a surprised Mother’s Day vacation trip, from her daughters.

Her Ladyship The Hon. Ms. Tanya Lobban-Jackson agreed with senior defense counsel, Ms. Sheena Mair of F-Chambers that there are exceptional circumstancés in Grier’s case, by this, the court departed from the mandatory minimum sentence of twelve years imprisonment and ordered a lighter sentence of $1500.00 or Six months imprisonment if fine is not paid. She’s also sentenced to 23 weeks imprisonment suspended for one year.

Holding for the office of the Director of Public Prosecution via link was Dr. Angela Terry Brooks, deputy director of the DPP’S office.

The prosecution office did oppose exceptional circumstances and invited the court to impose the mandatory minimum sentence of twelve years imprisonment.

A more detailed court report will follow.

Wilkie Arthur
Court Correspondent
Eagle Legal News Media

(Feel free to contact us at phone number #3423407 for advertisements, sponsors, and/or donations in support of this Growing Media Network)

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