First cheques cut on ‘saving homes’ initiative

| 11/05/2012

bank-foreclosed-homes-in-jamaica.jpg(CNS): Following the premier's announcement that he would use some of the Dart cash advance to help Caymanians who were at risk of losing their homes, the first batch of cheques is about togo out. More than 70 applications have now been approved for assistance. The committee, established by the premier and now chaired by Rene Moxam, has reportedly considered many applications over the last few weeks and more families are expected to be approved in the coming weeks. The government initiative offers those who are approved an initial payment $12,000 followed by up to three more mortgage payments.

Each applicant can claim a maximum of $20,000 and will be given 50 years to pay back the money. The programme has been funded from cash given to government by the Dart Group in a preliminary investment agreement.

Although the full proposed ForCayman Alliance Investment deal has still not been signed more than a year after it was first announced, an agreement dealing with the Esterley Tibbetts Highway extension and the closure of the West Bay Road was signed at the end of last year between the NRA, government and Dart. As part of this pre-agreement deal, which will facilitate the redevelopment of the Courtyard Marriott site into a five star resort, Dart gave government a $5 million advance from a proposed payment of $20 million for community projects. The developer has offered the money to government as part of the future main deal, which involves crown various land swaps and development initiatives.

Government announced earlier this year that the first $5 million would be split equally between education and helping families facing mortgage arrears.

A committee was established in the premier’s ministry, which was originally chaired by Sonia McLaughlin, the chief officer with responsibility for finance. However, the premier stated last Friday that she was removed because the governor “sent the auditor general in and frightened the daylight out of”  the chair of the committee. In his controversial statement released in response to the governor, McKeeva Bush implied that the governor had tried to block the initiative. ”We couldn’t get anything done for months,” he said. “We finally had to change that person as the chair."

Moxam was appointed to chair the committee after McLaughlin stepping down. Other members include Collector of Customs Carlon Powery; Cora Grant-James, Manager of Debt Collection at Royal Bank of Canada; Attorney Steve McField; and Felicia
Galbraith of Cayman National Bank.

According to government officials, only a handfull of applicants have been refused. With around $2.5 million set aside for the scheme, government will be able to assist around 125 applicants in total.

In the face of criticisms that the money was a form of political handout or that it would only serve to prop up irresponsible people, Bush denied the accusations and said the funds would be used only to help those who were most in need and about to have their homes repossessed. He said the critics were out of touch about the harsh reality faced by some people who, through no fault of their own, were about to lose their homes.

“No, we can’t help everyone,” he said. “But this will help some of the most needy ones.”

The premier has also said that the money would be given to the banks and lending institutions that were about to repossess homes and not directly to the individual people involved.

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Category: Local News

Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Damn if you do and damn if you don't. People get a life and stop hating…as the saying goes those who feel it..knows it… 

  2. Anonymous says:

    There are lots of folks out there who work very hard with more than one job just trying to pay for their homes. They are basically struggling, some even one and two months behind . Alot of these three month and over arear people built two big a home that they cannot maintain and afford. It is so very unfair to those that are struggling to make their payments. Any way we should know how that goes from the Paloma funds.

    • Anonymous says:

      Okay so 'first' cheques cut.  The article says that 70 have been approved and the funds will be enough to help up to 125. So put another way on day one the money is half accounted for already. 

      In other words, you had better stop paying your mortgage now folks because if you keep trying, by the time you are 3 months behind all the handout (oops sorry I meant assistance of course)  will be gone!!

      So the harder you try the less you will be helped!

      Not a great message to be sending out is it….!

      Pure Genius Mac

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, we have moved on to much bigger and better things…remember the days when a refrigerator a stove was given, now its help with your mortgage.   But…has anyone thought what happens when it is time to pay that money back or when the mortgage payment comes due again?  What is the sense in paying it just so it won't go into foreclosure, unfortunately that may still happen, so you are just putting good money into bad…..I don't even have to ask how they justify whose mortgage will be paid for…..any suggestions? LOL

  3. EducateYourself says:

    This is a blatant example of the VOTE BUYING that takes place on this island which has lead to our current system of government known as INEPTOCRACY.

  4. Anonymous also says:

    This is cool.  Now that these people have things up to date Mac can give them solar panels also.  Lok for these homes to be on the market in about 6 months.  A delayed Bank sale. Both programms are ill thought out. 

  5. Anon says:

    Well,

    There are many wealthy Caymanians that have made millions of dollars and are hoarding it for themselves. They do not all help the community.

    Dart is at least showing a helping hand, somthing that is new to this society.

    The truth is just the truth.

    Which wealthy Caymanian would do this for you?

    If the  PPM were elected, they would have a rich developer dishing out money too just like Dart. Pot cursing kettle again!

  6. king says:

    Do these persons have jobs and/or getting paid enough to start saving or paying after the 3 months is up? 

    • Tatatatat says:

      Hush it is Darts money, leave them alone.  Bad, bad, bad, bad.  Stop it. I say.

      Uhmm.

  7. Anonymousssssllllyyy says:

    Does the Government now hold a Class A banking Licence from CIMA? how can they do this public lending but I cant?

  8. Anony says:

    As these funds were given to the country by the Dart Group, will there be accounting records of all payment published? 

    Treasury Dept. don't wait for an FOI request which you know will come. Go ahead and publish the payments as they are made via your web site. Be proactive & transparent.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Be proactive and transparent"

      I almost spit out my coffee, soooo funny!

  9. Sir Henry Morgan says:

    What an XXXX JOKE!!!!

    Mac you will always be remembered as the islands first and worst premier!

    Please West Bayers pull your heads out of your XXXX realize Mac is destroying this country!!

    I swear to Christmas if you put him in office again we'll end up worse than Jamaica. This place will be like a little Haiti.

    Stop being so easily bought; it's like the district is full of cheap whores. And don't let him baffle you with his XXXXX!

    Our country's future is inyour hands!

  10. Macman says:

    As this payment is from the "peoples money" we the people have a right to know who it is going to!

  11. Appreciation says:

    I was just wondering, will the persons who did not get approved be informed.  I applied, but I do not know if I was approved or not.  How do I get to know?

  12. Appreciation says:

    Any Caymanian or expat Caymanian who do not appreciate what the Premier has done is just plain ungrateful.  I wish I could have had my house saved.  Long Live McKeeva Bush, and may God always bless him as he see grace in the eyes of the Lord.

  13. Anonymous1122222 says:

    So…. They get to keep their home for a few more month then what????  Are there negotiations of lowering payments and interest rates and extending the life of the loan?  If not this is just a delay to the inevitable…

  14. Not hopefull says:

    I hope that they follow the rsults of these hand outs.  I would guess over half will lose their homes anyways done the road.  This is what happens in this type of deal.  sort term politcal gain. No long term gain for the people.

  15. Later Ron says:

    There is nothing in existing laws to allow this abuse of public funds. Whatever the situation of people, the dishing out of public money in such a way is immoral and illegal. I suggest the Auditor General get involved: where is he when you need him?