CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (March 15, 2007)
Civil servants and non-established workers in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), will now have access to affordable housing through an EC $10 million loan from the St. Kitts and Nevis Social Security Board following an amendment to the Nevis Island Government Loan (Guarantee) Ordinance 2002.
The Nevis Island Administration Loan (Guarantee) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2007 which was passed in the Nevis Island Assembly in Charlestown on Thursday March 15, 2007 will give the NIA the authority to guarantee loans from any statutory body, bank and other financial institutions for the benefit of its employees.
The Bill was presented in the name of Minister of Housing and Lands the Hon. Robelto Hector, who said that the new Administration had been approached by the Social Security to make the relevant amendments.Mr. Hector called on Civil Servants to take their work seriously and explained that the new Bill would facilitate the Nevis Reformation Party-led Administration’s promise to provide for the well-being of its 689 established and 537 non established employees.Under the proposed agreement, a committee would be put in place to approve applications and The St. Kitts and Nevis Development Bank would execute the loans.
Once approved, established workers would be entitled to a maximum of $275,000 while non-established workers could receive a maximum of $75,000.
He said that the money would be loaned for 25 years, in keeping with the action of other commercial bank’s lending policies at a competitive interest rate of eight percent. Loan repayments will commence after the final disbursement or nine months after the first draw down.
According to Mr. Hector, the criteria was simple, an applicant must be a civil servant or Non Established worker with five consecutive years of service immediately prior to the date of the application for the loan and it was the first time in history that both classes of Civil servants would receive equal treatment.
The loan could be used for construction or the purchase of a house, to facilitate repairs, renovations or improvements and to refinance an existing mortgage.
Of the $10 million, Mr. Hector noted that an amount of $2.5 million would be used for refinancing loans for qualified established workers and $1 million would specifically be allocated for renovations to existing properties owned by qualified non-established workers.
During the Debate, Mr. Hector said the move was in an effort to assist a particular group and to make the package more attractive for persons who over the years have worked hard particular the non- established workers who leave the Civil Service without much.