Citizens who are in the process of constructing their homes may now receive financing from the Fund for the Realization of Economic Empowerment through Subsidized Housing (FREESH). Under the previous arrangement, only persons who were undertaking new residential construction and had not yet broken ground were eligible. The qualifying conditions were revised to allow more persons to own homes while experiencing less financial strain and to generate more economic activity.
Effective immediately, persons who have already started building their home may apply for a loan up to $500,000.00 at a fixed interest rate of 5%. However, eligible applicants must not have an existing mortgage in relation to that residential property. Applications must be submitted via the SIDF website (www.sknsidf.org) to any of the participating financial institutions listed. Interested persons may visit or call the financial institutions for more information.
The FREESH was established in January 2012 and in July the interest rate was lowered from 6% and the maximum loan amount increased from $400,000.00. To date, seventy (70) applications have been approved in St. Kitts and Nevis. Over four hundred (400) persons have been employed by these construction projects. With the qualifying conditions revised once more to give more persons access to funding, the number of homeowners in the Federation is expected to grow at a faster rate.
The construction sector plays a key role in the socio-economic development of a country as it contributes to the employment of people and generates a high multiplier effect through its linkages with other sectors of the economy. Given the importance of the construction industry in the national development process, the SIDF established the FREESH and the Equity Assistance Fund (EAF) to encourage citizens to invest in residential housing. The FREESH and the EAF are used to assist in stimulating expansion of the economy by generating increased national output, creating employment, helping to make housing more accessible and improving the quality of the housing stock in the Federation.