St. Maarten Housing Foundation launches website, scholarship fund

POSTED: 06/10/11 1:33 PM

St. Maarten – The St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation launched its website and a scholarship program on Thursday as it continues the celebration of its 15th ceremony. The main goal of the website – www.smhdf.org – is sharing information with tenants and people submitting applications.

“We will be able to track complaints, applications, which people can now file online. Also, a lot of tenants have pre-conceived notions and another main purpose of the website is to make the SMHDF more transparent,” the SMHDF’s Managing Director Henry Lynch said.

“One of the things I noticed as the new director is sharing of information and it’s our responsibility to get this information to the tenants. We have to use as much as possible technology to facilitate the tenants,” Lynch added.

The “Resident Scholarship Fund”, which was also launched Thursday, will be open to 15 students at primary and secondary schools. The grants will be for students who have been living in a home managed by the SMHDF for a minimum of five years, their parents must be in good credit standing and the school must provide a recommendation letter that states the child has an average above 7.0, has not repeated a class and is well behaved. The family must also prove their financial need and students under 12 must write a 300 word essay explaining why they deserve a scholarship. Students over 12 must write an essay that is 1, 000 words.

Granting the scholarships is a means for the housing foundation to promote education and encourage its tenants to have and maintain a zero balance. It also reflects an understanding for the social needs of the tenants.

“We have noticed in the month of August that there was a trend in low collections and we attributed that to parents having to pay school fees and buy uniforms etc and so in our budget preparations we decided to re-allocate funds to create a SMHDF Scholarship Fund,” Lynch explained.

 

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