With a loan of EC$10 million from the Venezuelan oil facility programme known as Petrocaribe, the state-owned Grenada Development Bank (GDB) will be offering a package to government employees and non-public servants to access loans to finance mortgages.
The Mortgage financing programme was launched last Friday at the Public Workers Union (PWU) building in the presence of representatives of Petrocaribe and government officials.
The funds can also be made available to persons wishing to purchase land for future construction, renovation, and also furnishing.
Applicants can receive a maximum of $450,000, and will be given a period of 25 years to repay at 5.99% fixed interest rate.
Speaking at the ceremony, General Manager of GDB, Mervyn Lord explained what the loan can also be used for.
“To retrofit an existing property – whether it’s energy saving devices or for hurricane safety, we can provide a loan for that. For example, you think your roof will not be able to withstand another hurricane, you can come to us and we can give you a loan just for that roof”, he said.
“…For debt consolidation but we have a condition, the condition is that we must be providing some new funding for one of the aforementioned”, he added.
According to Lord, the GDB is different from other financial institutions because “every loan we put out there, we expect some form of development”.
“So we will have ongoing session until June 30th 2017 or when the 10 million last,” he remarked.
Lord announced that GDB will be providing 100% financing to public servants because many times it is found that there are people who can pay the monthly installments but do not have the 10% as required by some financial institutions to contribute as equity.
He said this facility will be extended to non-public servants on the condition that the loan to value ratio is a maximum of 90%.
“If someone is selling a house for example and the value of the house is $300,000 and …. they are giving you that house for $220,000 or less, as a non-public servant, you can get 100% financing for that venture”, he added.
Lord assured persons interested in the loans that there will be 50% reduction in legal fees and bank charges and the reduction can be incorporated into the borrowed funds.
In addition, he said the beneficiaries of the programme will obtain a GDB discount card so that they can get discounts from 469 business partners.
Minister of Social Development and Housing, Delma Thomas sees the launch of the programme by GDB as reflective of government’s commitment to continue providing for the housing needs of the people.
She said: “As a representative (in Parliament), I can tell you that nine out of every 10 persons that come to see me at my office are looking for some means of housing and I do know that within the public service that many persons who are looking, some already have their lands and are looking to build; however they are seeking to secure that loan from the banking system.
“…I am indeed happy to be a part of this launch this afternoon that will provide them with that avenue where they can build their own homes, they can repair an existing home; they can buy lands…”, she added.
Director on GDB Board, Wilfred Hercules stated that Petrocaribe is following the government’s lead by engaging in a partnership with the state-run bank to help better the lives of people.
“We are extremely delighted to be a part of the initiative that provides public officers with access to affordable financing for building and purchasing of a home”, Hercules said.
“We view this venture as an important one, which would insist in improving the housing situation throughout the length and breadth of this country,” he added.
Hercules, a former civil servant himself and current General Manager at the state-run Gravel Concrete & Emulsion Production Corporation encouraged public officers to take full advantage of the opportunity.