Minister of Housing, Lands and Maintenance, Dr. William Duguid, is urging all existing and former tenants of the National Housing Corporation (NHC) who qualify, to start submitting their applications for refunds early in time for processing.
In a Ministerial Statement last Tuesday, he stated that NHC tenants who had paid deposits towards their units under the previous Sale of Terrace Units Programme should have their monies returned by Christmas.
In elaborating on this proposal yesterday, the Minister said: “Those who paid in less than $5,000 will be refunded in cash, and those who paid in more than $5,000 will be refunded in bonds that can be encashed at any time. If the tenant is deceased, any refund would be issued to his or her estate on the production of the relevant documentation. Tenants will also be required to visit the NHC office with their IDs, proof of address, TAMIS number, and/or banking information.”
Dr. Duguid also took the opportunity to again express his pleasure at having brought about a measure of fairness to previous tenants who might have been disadvantaged when the 20-Year Free Transfer of Terrace Units Programme started around March 2008.
He stated: “My statement related to those 576 tenants who the NHC’s records show were clearly disadvantaged. They had resided in the units for 20 years or more, or paid rents equivalent to 20 years. On top of that, they also paid deposits, or sometimes even the full amount to purchase the units under our Sale of Terrace Units Programme.
“Then, the 20-Year free programme came in a few months later, but those tenants were still being denied refunds, while other tenants in similar circumstances were getting their units free. In our view, those disadvantaged persons or their estates should be fully refunded.”
He also emphasised that long-term residents in the units was critical to obtaining refunds, and explained: “The theme of my statement was equity and fairness. So, for example, it would not be fair to refund a person who only lived in a unit for a year or two before purchasing it when others had to wait 20 years.”