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NHT Bailout a Slap in Face of Contributors - Chang

JLP Spokesman on Housing Dr. Horace Chang has again expressed outrage at the illegality of the decision by the National Housing Trust to purchase the failed Trelawny based attraction, Outameni Experience and is calling on the government for full disclosure of details on the controversial deal.
 
While referencing existing legislation, Opposition Spokesman on Housing, Dr. Horace Chang stated, “Based on the provisions set out in the National Housing Trust Act of 1979, the NHT was created primarily to provide affordable housing solutions for its contributors”.  He says, “As legislators, we have a duty to guard against any abuse of funds held in Trust on behalf of the hard working people of Jamaica. Further, we have an obligation to ensure that actions taken by the government and its agencies are legal and above board. The People of Jamaica deserve nothing less than a government that leads by example; respecting the very laws it has made.”
 
The former Housing Minister went on to cite section 4 of the NHT Act as solid basis for the concerns. He quoted,
 
“(1) The Functions of the Trust shall be - (a) to add to and improve the existing supply of housing by –

(i) Promoting housing projects to such extent as may from time to time be approved by the Minister.
 
(ii) Making available to such contributors as may be prescribed, in such manner and on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed, loans to assist in the purchase, building, maintenance, repair or improvement of houses; and 
 
(iii) Encouraging and stimulating improved methods of production of houses”.
 
He added, “There is nothing stated or implied in the legislation that can show how this controversial J$291 million buyout accomplishes the goals of the NHT Act. This therefore seems to be a clear violation of the Trust, and the government has an obligation to provide answers and take action where necessary, to protect the integrity of this noble institution”. 
 
Dr. Chang also noted, “The people of Jamaica know that the use of Trust funds for any purpose outside of what was intended by act, will ultimately compromise and cause irreparably harm to the spirit and the letter of the Act”. He added, “The public needs to know whether the entire Board of the NHT was complicit and what the government’s position is”.
 
He concluded, “It is a travesty that the law is being violated to bail out this private venture, while thousands of Jamaicans are unable to access the original benefit intended by the Trust. This is a reflection of the government’s general attitude towards rule of law and the people of Jamaica. This bailout is a slap in the face of contributors, who cannot afford this government any longer”.

 

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