The Minister continued: “The pricing of the loan must be reflective of the credit support that BHC is providing in the form of a guarantee. A discounted interest rate is offered to clients who purchase a home through Home Start. As an example on a typical home of $500,000 over a 30 year mortgage the client would save approximately $50,000 over the life of the mortgage due to the lower interest rate.
“In order to mitigate clients getting into difficulty with their loans/mortgages – BHC conducts prescreening at the outset and discusses these types of issues – which include – reviewing appropriate size of the mortgage based on income and age. Additionally BHC receives a monthly report on clients which allows staff to follow up to discuss any challenges.”
To date, Minister Burch said “nine unit sales have been completed under the programme with 13 more units under contract”.
“There are currently three homes left available while there is scope to expand the number of available homes. For example BHC has been negotiating with existing BHC Mortgage holders who have fallen into significant arrears and who are unable to repay their mortgage. BHC is seeking to list their homes in the programme, as this will enable them to obtain the best price and provide some relief from the debt burden.”
Listings are updated monthly on the first working day of the month as new units are added and sold units are removed from the list.
The Minister also noted that there is a graduation of Two-Rent Geared to Income families previously housed at the Perimeter Lane Complex, “who have spent the last several years in the programme and have saved enough money to put a down payment on their own home”.
“The sense of accomplishment and pride of these families serves as an inspiration to all of us to continue to provide opportunities for more Bermudian families to ‘own a piece of the rock’,” said Col Burch.
“We have seen the success of first time homeowner initiatives in the past and I draw specific reference to the Loughlands Complex where 96 units were sold to both individuals and families, most of whom are still there and successfully managing their mortgages and many who will in short order have paid them off.
“Yes there was a small percentage that fell behind and had to exercise the option to sell their units, but
they are clearly the min
ority,” he said.
“So we certainly can reap what we sow and see the rewards of our labor in just giving someone an opportunity that they may not have otherwise had. In addition, this initiative allows us to build greater relationships between Government and the private sector.”
By “utilizing various approaches to address the housing predicament that we face”, he said he anticipates “making another significant announcement in this arena before the House rises for the summer recess”.
The Minister concluded: “I will continue to do the same as these initiatives are implemented.”