Most of the direct costs of the bankruptcies, closures and mergers, amounting to several hundred billion dollars, will be paid for by the taxpayer through public bond issues. So, it is clear that the housing finance institutions of the Caribbean cannot remain static, but must evolve in their functions in accordance with the basic needs of their countries and the prevailing financial realities.
In the various fora and meetings of CASHFI, there have been explorations of specific projects for CASHFI support. Early on, there were suggested possibilities for establishment of a secondary mortgage facility on an inter-island membership basis for the packaging and securitizing of mortgages for resale to longterm investors such as pension funds, insurance companies, etc. In view of the difficulties encountered with differing national currencies and financial regulations, this was deemed to be an unrealistic project.
It was felt that the countries could and should do more to redefine, and establish, housing policies and financing techniques that were attuned to the housing and shelter needs of their populations. Several have already initiated secondary mortgage finance schemes.
CASHFI as an organization has been undoubtedly maintain continuing interest in follow-up to the UN International Strategy for Shelter, and also participate in future International Shelter Conferences, for example, the April 1990 Shelter Conference and other multi-lateral activities in this field. This includes special attention to the forthcoming UN Conference on Environment and Development, to be held in 1992.
CASHFI members has been endeavouring to promote and design initiatives for projects and programmes that have mitigated risk while expanding profitable consumer base opportunities. CASHFI member funding of projects can often be leveraged and results extended through collaboration with other financial entities, such as, the commercial banks.
CASHFI, in cooperation with UNIAPRAVI, should provide informational assistance for the new Inter-American Centre of Housing Statistics, which has also add to its own capacities for assembly of useful statistics regarding housing, finance and construction activities in the Caribbean.CASHFI has been endeavour to be a constituent part of the Caribbean Shelter Network recommended by the Caribbean Ministers of Settlement/Shelter.
CASHFI members have participated in consultative groups, at national and regional levels, that seek to mobilize and redirect investment so that subsidies will go to those who need them. Pilot projects have been used as a means of testing ways of meeting the people’s shelter needs. These have included forms of participation such as through credit unions, cooperatives, new trusts and foundations, church involvement, etc. rather than new construction, the focus may be in other directions, such as land acquisition and provision of infrastructure, home improvement, rehabilitation, area upgrading and incremental building.
To broaden public understanding about housing, shelter, and financing, CASHFI has developed programmes and encounters with the media of the Caribbean, and perhaps co-sponsor specific events, exhibitions, design competitions, etc.
CASHFI has also developed its relationships with other professional groupings, labour unions, and organizations concerned with the construction industry so as to help build a stronger constituency for action for housing and shelter.