Government to Restructure HAJ

Photo: Mark Bell Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang (left), makes a presentation at a post-Sectoral Debate press conference at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on July 6. At right is Head of the Port Authority of Jamaica, Professor Gordon Shirley.

Story Highlights

  • The Government is to restructure the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) as it relates to governance, as well as the overall direction of the organisation.
  • Dr. Chang said the Ministry will also be looking at all assets available in the agency to determine how best to organise them efficiently.
  • Additionally, the Housing Public Private Partnership (HPPP) Policy is being revised to provide a more efficient framework between the Government and various developers, which should result in a range of cost-effective housing solutions.

The Government is to restructure the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) as it relates to governance, as well as the overall direction of the organisation.

Minister with responsibility for Water and Housing in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, addressing a post-Sectoral Debate press conference yesterday (July 6) at the Ministry’s offices in Kingston, said all options are being examined to restore the HAJ to viability in one year.

Significant personnel changes were announced by the HAJ on Tuesday (July 5) to address losses of $2.9 billion over the past two years and projected loss of $900 million this year, coming from a profit of $350 million in 2011. The HAJ has as a core objective, the provision of affordable housing solutions.

Dr. Chang said the Ministry will also be looking at all assets available in the agency to determine how best to organise them efficiently. This, he noted, is in line with the Government’s policy to cut out redundancy and overlap with other departments and agencies.

“The Ministry has to play a role in terms of giving direction for low-income housing… We have to put in place the structures that can provide low income and indigent individuals with access to housing without allowing corruption in the sector,” the Minister said.

As part of the restructuring, he said the Ministry is looking to have a team of professionals who will not only research the housing market, but also monitor developers between Real Estate Board and housing agencies.

In his Sectoral Debate presentation on July 5, Dr. Chang said the relationship between the various housing institutions is also being reorganised to prevent any intrinsic corruption across the sector. These institutions include the HAJ, Urban Development Corporation, National Housing Trust, and Jamaica Mortgage Bank.

Additionally, the Housing Public Private Partnership (HPPP) Policy is being revised to provide a more efficient framework between the Government and various developers, which should result in a range of cost-effective housing solutions.

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