A programme meant propel Caymanians toward owning their first home has hit a snag. The Government Guaranteed Housing Assisted Mortgage programme, nick-named “GGHAM,” was expected to be rolled out in December. But two months later it has not been launched.
“Please understand and be patient in that it is not a rushed process.” It’s an appeal National Housing Development Trust General Manager Julio Ramos is making to those waiting for the relaunch of GGHAM. He added all the pieces are not yet in place.
“The Government along with the private banks having to agree with the private banks having to agree on a programme to have it properly rolled out. This time around government is the one waiting on the banks,” Mr Ramos said.
In December 5 banks agreed in principle to join the programme aimed at helping people who can’t afford deposits and fees associated with buying their first home. But only 3 of the 5 banks have signed up.
“The Government has been constantly pursing the banks to sign off and agreeing on a date on when we can sign up and start helping these individuals,” Mr Ramos said.
He estimated the programme will get off the ground in a few weeks and he’s hoping it will before May elections, not for campaign gains but to ensure continuity.
“There is no pursuit of any political mileage here. It is just a matter of having it properly rolled out . It has nothing to do from a political angle,” he said.
Mr Ramos is recommending interested applicants begin the process and get assessed for qualification. So when it’s officially started they would have completed the first hurdle.
Mr Ramos said of the 325 people in the programme’s pilot 7 years ago. 80 have moved on to their own mortgage and some 18 have defaulted on the guarantee and Government was forced to pay on its commitment.