The “Outameni” Catastrophe

November 10th, 2014

One of the most talked about topics in Jamaica currently, is the ‘Outameni Experience’ acquisition by the National Housing Trust (NHT). Outameni  Experience is a Trelawny-based attraction previously owned by Lennie Little-White.

According to The Gleaner’s Wednesday Business on October 29, 2014 “the NHT appeared to be tweaking its business model by diversifying into attraction ownership with the acquisition of Outameni from Lennie Little-White for $180 million.” Additionally, another $100 million is to be spent on upgrades to the facility.

Several persons including opposition spokesman on housing, Dr Horace Chang, is outraged by this acquisition. He believes that it is an abuse of funds. As matter of fact the statutory mandate of the National Housing Trust Act of 1979, is that the organization is to provide low income housing solutions for its contributors. This acquisition, many believe, goes against the NHT’s primary function.

Personally, I fully agree with Dr Chang on this one. If this attraction was profitable I could understand the need to do something like this, although it still would have been absolutely and completely unethical. However, the fact that this attraction is (at least in my opinion) a failing business makes me think that this acquisition is not only uncalled for, but a catastrophic move by the NHT.

Additionally, NHT has not even been fulfilling its own mandate. Housing solutions have been very limited for a number of years and still taxpayers are required to pay this particular tax every month. Nevertheless, this is only my opinion. What do you think?

Should the NHT have acquired this attraction? Go ahead and have your say…


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9 Responses to “The “Outameni” Catastrophe”

  1. Jeanette Calder says:

    Here’s what I think. We need an decent capable attorney to advise the NHT paying citizens of this country if the Act permits this. If the Act does not, then a law was broken. If a law was broken then every single solitary member of the NHT board who voted for this decision is to be charged. Every single member who abstained is a silent accomplice and is to be charged appropriately. Let the Courts of Jamaica decide and not the Prime Minister of Jamaica. End of story.

  2. Dein says:

    Jeanette, I think your points are valid and would work IF we had a fair justice system. At least one senior member of the board is a very noticeable Lawyer and you know how that goes. Lawyers win cases, it is not whether you are guilty or innocent.
    It is clear that there were mismanagement of the funds but I am very sure they will be protected.

  3. Anna Kingswood says:

    This is totally outrageous and full condemnation must follow for those who took this decision, as in a wholesale changing of the NHT Board. This is rank cronyism. A good friend of mine who is an ardent supporter of the JLP once said to me that one big difference between JLP and PNP supporters is that JLP supporters will speak out against actions taken by their party which are clearly wrong. PNP supporters never do and will either seek to justify the actions or give examples of JLP misconduct. I call upon PNP supporters to denounce this foul-smelling transaction. This is an indecent bail-out of party-faithful.

  4. Peter Palmer says:

    IT STINKS.

  5. Jojo says:

    NHT is a trust, most contributors
    are the poorer ppl ,and it was for
    the purpose of them gaining a little
    buttery (housing schemes rooms are
    match box)however it was something,
    most poor ppl paying does not qualify
    for a loan, loans are given to mansion
    owners with collateral with ease, with
    a country teeming with homeless ppl(not
    including the mentally ill) this money
    should be utilized for housing only.

    There were 3 different stories regarding
    this purchase, why build a park asking
    “where does the children play” Lambert
    Brown ask, I ask after playing “where will
    they go to sleep”, they should not have used
    NHT money to purchase 10 acres of land for
    all that money, no house is being built
    there, most poor ppl who gain from NHT had
    no choice but to go live in these projects
    found mostly in the worst areas of wherever
    built.This country is running on auto-pilot

    Contributors need to stop paying and file
    a class action law-suit to now get their
    money back when they want and not made to
    wait 7 years a current rule that exists.
    They really need to return the money.

  6. sher says:

    A long time nht a gwaan with …and they now think they are untouchables. The government dip in and take contributors money and spend as they like etc. They entirely are a disgrace. Every body do as they please and are getting away with it. People need to rise up; a justice revolution is what we need!!!

  7. betty says:

    It is well within the mandate of the NHT to build communities. Nothing wrong done. NHT did not aquire Outameni. NHT bought a property, just like any other property purchase. Very good value for money. NHT did not buy a business. All you persons who do business stop misleading the people. A business is different from a property used as collateral for the business.

  8. Carlton says:

    The word ”TRUST” has a meaning.

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