The first article in this series set out the background to these proposed bonds and the implications of the HDC’s perennial problem with bad property titles. The second drew parallels between these proposals and the roots of the 2008 Wall Street crash, with some references to Jamaica’s National Housing Trust and its contribution system as an alternative for financing affordable housing. This week I conclude by delving into the heart of the matter, the HDC’s finances and its performance in terms of its existing bond portfolio.
One of my persistent complaints against many of our State Agencies, including the HDC, is the long-term failure or refusal to publish proper audited accounts as required by laws and regulations. I am pleased to report that my requests for NHA/HDC financial statements from 2003 to 2018 were satisfied in April this year. Once again, I thank the exemplary officers at the HDC for their assistance. Even if this time I had to engage my attorney to send HDC a pre-action protocol letter before the financial statements were released and what is more, they have not refunded my legal fees.
Those financial statements are for the NHA from 2003 to 2005 and the HDC after 2005. This article is focused on these proposed bonds so the first point to raise is the status of those financial statements. Continue reading “Property Matters – HDC Housing Bonds Part Three”
Afra Raymond is interviewed on TV6 Morning Edition by Fazeer Mohammed on the affordable housing proposals in the 2020 budget. Video courtesy CCN TV6
Programme Length: 00:27:18
Programme Date: 11 October 2019
This article will examine the proposed HDC Housing Bonds announced by Finance Minister Imbert in Parliament on Friday, 20 September 2019. The proposal is to borrow $1.0 Billion via bonds in various tenors offering investors tax-free returns of 4.5%. The funds raised are to be used for purchasing HDC homes, which was stated to be of importance in addressing critical financial challenges in that State Agency.
Continue reading “Property Matters – HDC Housing Bonds”
Afra Raymond has a public meeting on affordable housing and questions whether the government is actually serious about proving affordable public housing based on the track record of high end and expensive construction projects over the last decade and a half.
- Programme Length: 01:02: 48
- Programme Date: 30 September 2019
Afra Raymond was interviewed by Fazeer Mohammed on TV6’s Morning Edition on Thursday 19th September 2019, on affordable housing in light of the upcoming T&T budget. His insights, particularly into the Housing & Construction sector, were examined. Video courtesy TV6
Programme Length: 00:28:50
Programme Date: 19 Sep 2019
The previous article opened with news of the unexpected and welcome cancellation of the huge HDC/CGGC contract to design and build 5,000 new apartments.
The barrage of stories on this issue in the last week has left one phrase ringing in my mind, VS Naipaul’s sardonic wit in his ‘independence novel’, A House for Mr Biswas – “…amazing scenes were witnessed when…”.
Two essential elements of the Season of Reflection are shown in the addenda –
- the affordability question, as well as
- the role of local professionals and contractors.
Continue reading “Property Matters – In-Dependence? Part three”
On Thursday, 5 September 2019, the PM announced at the post-Cabinet media briefing that the large-scale HDC contract with China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) for 5,000 new apartments was now ‘cancelled’-
…That contract was reviewed extensively by the Cabinet and it has been stopped. HDC has been instructed to go back out to tender because there were some parts of that contract that did not meet Cabinet’s acceptance and approval, both structurally and legalistically. That contract has been stopped.
So, Cabinet has reviewed this contract (after its execution!) and has now cancelled it so as to re-tender and proceed in accordance with proper standards. Sad to say, a straight reading does not count for much in these matters. This is where we are, that is all.
The previous article explained the several serious aspects which were wrong with that HDC contract. In my view the entire contract was wrong, even if no laws were broken and all the necessary protocols were observed. ‘rong like a Crix Biscuit and this article will explain exactly how. Continue reading “Property Matters – In-Dependence? Part two”