Cocktails With — Joyce Simms-Wilson

Joyce Simms-Wilson is the general manager of corporate communications marketing for the National Housing Trust (NHT). The NHT allows a number of Jamaicans to cross the threshold into life-changing home ownership and this is work that Simms-Wilson is passionate about. It’s an extremely busy day for her but thankfully there’s a Blue Mountain coffee break.

What major modifications has the NHT made to address the changing needs of its clientele?

The relationships we maintain with our customers position us to be on the receiving end of valuable insights through queries and feedback. As such, we have improved our products and services to meet their changing needs. Some of these improvements include the increased loan limit, reduced interest rates on loan products and improvements to the 15 Plus loan, specifically for public sector workers. We have also introduced mobile offices in the Corporate Area and parts of St Catherine. In addition, we are now able to address one of the commonest challenges, that of securing the deposit needed to acquire a property, by providing the following solutions: 100% financing on NHT scheme loans, micro-financing through credit unions to contributors earning J$30,000 or less weekly and the allocation of contributions that are not yet due for refund towards customers’ deposits.


How has the NHT incorporated technological advances to keep its competitive edge?

Following on the successes of our online Contribution Refund System, and our online mortgage and contribution systems, we recently delivered our first mobile application for Android mobile users. The iOS version will be available shortly.We are also in the process of redesigning our website to allow simplified application processes and more transactions from the comfort of your home.


The NHT will grant loans for solar water heaters. What other green initiatives can home owners implement with the assistance of the NHT?

The NHT also facilitates the installation of solar electric systems through its 15 Plus and home improvement loans.


There are a number of grants that the NHT offers. What are three of the most popular ones?

The NHT offers, among others:

a) Home grants of $2.5 million to contributors who earn $12,000 per week or less and have contributed for at least seven years;

b) Grants to mortgagers with disabilities or who have persons in their household with a disability. This grant of $150,000.00 may be used to retrofit the house with amenities to improve their quality of life


What’s the last book that you read?

Tool of The Titans by Tim Ferriss which shares helpful tactics, routines and habits to help readers achieve goals and redefine success.


Who would you call at 2:00 am for advice?

I have always treasured my mentors. These are elders in my family who are always available to me for what I call their wise counsel.


What’s your go-to self-care routine?

Practising a lifestyle of healthy habits is in itself self-care. I practise mental quietness to encourage relaxation. Forgiveness is also an important self-care habit that has helped me to remain holistically healthy.


How do you stay motivated?

The job never has a dull moment. It encourages innovation and allows us to challenge even our own initiatives. However, the expressions of joy and accomplishment when a beneficiary receives his/her keys is the greatest motivator of all.


Heels or flats?

Very high heels!