Housing Minister rebukes delinquent landlords and tenants – $150bn debt to HDC
Ken Chee Hing
IF Housing Development Corporation (HDC) DELINQUANT landlords and tenants pay more than $1 billion in arrears, the corporation in turn can look to pay more than $1 billion it owes contractors for the construction and upgrading of HDC facilities.
This predicament was raised by Housing Minister Camille Robinson-Regis when she delivered the keynote speech on Wednesday at the launch of the ministry’s updated housing application processing system (HAFS).
This is an online application portal that has been developed to automate applications and facilitate the computerized random selection of applications from the ministry’s database.
Initially developed in 2003, HAFS is a repository of the various applications of the ministry and its agencies, including the HDC.
The department’s IT unit has implemented several updates to the HAFS system, including this latest update which gives housing applicants the added benefit of being able to access their applications and make necessary updates. of their requests.
According to Robinson-Regis, this update is in line with the government’s goal of a more digitized environment within the broader public service, and is also in line with the department’s and HDC’s desire to improve the experience. customer.
On the issue of HDC defaulting landlords and tenants, Robinson-Regis said HDC owed $1.012 billion in arrears accrued over the past six years.
She said the huge sum prevents the ministry and HDC from paying more than $1 billion owed to contractors.
Apart from paying contractors, the repayment of arrears will also facilitate repair and maintenance work on existing HDC developments as well as the construction of new housing units to meet the growing demand for affordable housing options.
It is a known fact that many people are awaiting placement and have been registered in the HDC database for several years.
According to a press release from HDC, in the 2017/2018 fiscal year, the company embarked on an aggressive debt collection campaign and was able to reduce debt levels from a high of 51% to 14% in 2019.
With the increase in indebtedness over the past two years, HDC continues to offer several payment options such as online bank transfers, payroll deductions, wire transfers, standing orders and other options. online payment across the country.
HDC will continue its debt collection campaign and will soon introduce additional payment options to allow landlords and tenants to meet their financial obligations to the company, the statement said.
Speaking at the launch of the HAFS system updates, Housing Minister Adrian Leonce expressed his enthusiasm for the new features of the HAFS system.
He said it would no longer be necessary for people to go to their MP’s constituency office to inquire about their HDC reference number, as they can now apply online and receive the reference number immediately.
Leonce said that by updating their information and using the mortgage calculator, applicants will know the value of the mortgage they qualify for and, if necessary, people can work to increase their income, savings and even add a co-applicant to increase their potential for random selection and allocation of housing.
The updated system will also allow individuals to track the status of their application from its receipt by HDC, through the random selection and financial assessment phases.