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Government joined with representatives from Butterfield Bank and FirstCaribbean International Bank to sign agreements amounting to $10 million under the National Housing Development Trust's (NHDT) Government Guaranteed Home Assisted Mortgage (GGHAM) Programme.

Cayman Islands Government representatives joined with officials from two commercial banks yesterday(Wednesday, 25 August) to sign an agreement that will enable more Caymanians to access mortgages.

Under the National Housing Development Trust's (NHDT) Government Guaranteed Home Assisted Mortgage (GGHAM) programme, Butterfield and FirstCaribbean International banks will each offer an additional $5 million sum for mortgage loans. Both banks had previously committed $10 million each which has already been disbursed.

Signing on behalf of government was Acting Premier the Hon. Juliana O'Connor-Connolly, JP, Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson and NHDT Deputy Chairman Edlin Myles.

Thanking the banks for their cooperation, the Acting Premier noted that the programme is already bringing hope to local people. "We accordingly look forward to continuing our mission to meet the housing needs of so many in our population," she said.

In existence since 2007, the GGHAM assists Caymanians who qualify for traditional commercial bank mortgages, but who are unable to accumulate the required five to twenty percent deposit.

In addition to Butterfield and FirstCaribbean, GGHAM currently has agreements with four more commercial banks: Cayman National; Fidelity Bank (Cayman) Ltd; Royal Bank of Canada and Scotiabank & Trust (Cayman) Ltd.

Minister of Community Affairs, Gender and Housing the Hon. Mike Adam, MBE, JP also applauded the banks and the NHDT for their commitment.

He disclosed that since GGHAM's inception the six banks have in all approved some $47.5 million in loans to 269 recipients. "These are impressive figures and we hope to see them expand even further as the programme continues to grow," he said.

The Ministerial Council for Housing Chair Ellio Solomon was on hand to explain that under the programme, government guarantees 35 percent of the total mortgage. That enables clients to access a loan without having to find the usual down payment.

The banks then grant mortgages based on both the guarantees and the client's eligibility. Customers must remain in good standing with their banks to retain their guarantees.

"What we have here is a valuable partnership, one that has enabled more of our own people to acquire their own homes. I truly thank the banks for their dedication," Mr. Solomon concluded.

Deputy NHDT Board Chair Edlin Myles chaired the function. Others attending the signing were NHDT's Board Member and Interim General Manager Janet James and Board Members Rayal Bodden, Ann Marie Powell and Michael Godfrey.

Also present were FirstCaribbean Manager Carol Martinez and Senior Wealth Manager, Lynne Whittaker, and Butterfield Bank Manager Maureen Watler, and Senior Manager for Personal Lending C.T. (Eddie) Belfon.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Prudence Barnes