Government Emphasizes Providing Housing Solutions – Magnetic Media

#Jamaica, August 20, 2022 – Prime Minister, the most. Hon. Andrew Holness says the National Housing Trust (NHT) is on track to make affordable home ownership a reality for more Jamaicans.

The Prime Minister, in his address at the handover ceremony for 63 homes at Industry Cove Manor, Green Island, Hanover, Friday August 12, said job seekers in western parishes pushed government efforts to provide many more homes. This effort had been slowed down by the Covid-19, he conceded.

Mr Holness said the NHT currently has two projects underway in the parish of Hanover, totaling 1,235 housing units.

“The plan was to distribute about 10,000 [islandwide] by the end of 2022, but our schedule has been impacted by COVID-19. Even though, between the NHT, the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ), the new social housing program and other programs that the government has undertaken, I am still confident that we can achieve this goal,” emphasized the Prime Minister.

He added: “There are many issues that we need to resolve, and I think we have resolved most of them. The one we’re currently working on is getting the contractors in place.

The Prime Minister said he was confident that once the contractors are in place…and engaged properly, particularly in terms of standards, “then we can get the level of work and the quality of work that would be required [to achieve our goals],” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Holness revealed that around 600 applications had been submitted for the 63 units offered for sale. He said it was a telling reminder that there are still many Jamaicans chasing their dream of owning a home.

“When I come to Hannover next time, I will hand over 10 times more units than I do now and then we have another project with 135 housing solutions, which I hope will be ready by 2023. So, there are huge projects here for this parish, which will impact the number of houses that we have promised,” Mr. Holness added.

The government has provided an average of around 6,000 units each year, three times as many as before, the prime minister said, and there is room for greater private sector involvement.

“The NHT stepped in and said we were going to build 43,000 homes over the next five years. It’s going to really stretch them and stretch the resources… We have private contractors joining us, but we just don’t have enough of them. Demand is good and we have mortgage facilities. What we don’t have on the construction side is enough contractors. It’s not just about having the contractors, it’s about having the contractors who can deliver the quality of work,” he added.

The Prime Minister also noted that when it comes to the high end of the market, a law that governs gated communities will be implemented shortly, adding that it is in its final drafting stages and aims to protect the value property for owners.

Industry Cove’s 63 homes consist of 23 two-bedroom detached homes and 40 two-bedroom townhouses on just over twelve acres of land.

The two-bedroom units sold for $17.89 million while the townhouses cost $18.72 million each. Forty-six of the 63 units were sold on the open market while 17 were allocated to government officials and other selected groups.

Contact person: Garwin Davis

Version: JIS

Photo caption: Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Andrew Holness (second from right), cuts the ribbon to celebrate the official handover of a new three-bedroom home to Delano Tucker (third from right) and his family at Guy’s Hill, St. Catherine, on Wednesday August 11. The unit was built under the New Social Lodging Program (NSHP). Joining the occasion (from left) are daughter, Denisha Tucker; mother, Nattris Tucker; MP for St. Catherine Northeast, Kerensia Morrison; Chairman, Oversight Committee for NSHP, Judith Robb Walters, and father, Desmond Tucker.

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