Minister Sends Firm Message to Extortionists – No Vacancy


Member of Parliament for South St. Andrew, Dr. Omar Davies has said no attempts at extortion would be tolerated in the planned construction of housing units for the area under the Inner City Housing Development Project.
“Persons will be employed but they will be employed to work, there will be no jobs for persons not so inclined,” Dr. Davies stated firmly while calling on persons to demonstrate disciplined behaviour.
At the same time, he pointed out to residents that skills not available in the area would be brought in and urged them to respect this decision.
The National Housing Trust will be financing the new development with construction partners Ashtrom. This will see 5,000 two, three and four storey apartment complexes with two and three bedrooms being built and sold. South St. Andrew is set to benefit significantly along with several communities across the island.
Dr. Davies who is also the Minister of Finance and Planning was speaking at a function at the Avon Park Community Centre on Thursday (March 25), where 20 persons from a group of 50 residents were also formally presented with the titles to their homes in an area commonly called Mexico.
On the matter of titling, he noted, “we believe that the political directorate must be at the heart of all the progressive social and economic developments occurring and when we the political directorate of South St. Andrew say you can get your title, but you must pay for the unit it’s a very major positive step.”
The Minister pointed out that the emphasis on education, homeownership sanitation and improved social infrastructure was bound to have positive effects on the residents. “You are going to have first class citizens, persons who you are proud to say these are Jamaicans and persons who are equal to anybody else in Jamaica. we are.demonstrating that it doesn’t matter the location, we are producing first class Jamaicans,” he stated.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Senator Deika Morrison congratulated the recipients for their commitments to making payments while pointing out that it was part of the “overall plan to have everyone become legal whether in housing, light or water.” She urged those now “legal” to encourage their fellow community members to do the same.
Meanwhile, Water and Housing Minister, Donald Buchanan informed that the planned divestment programme of Ministry-owned schemes in Trench Town would continue. He said in addition to the 274 units sold at $30,000 each to occupants in Mexico, 154 two-bedroom units had been marketed to residents of phases 4a and 4b better known as Brooklyn.
Minister Buchanan said already some residents had started to make their payments on the units. However, he noted, titling in this area was not likely to progress smoothly as splinter titles for the units were not yet available and “occupants have not been as prompt in their response to the ministry’s marketing efforts.” He however, said it was estimated that titles would become available in the next four to six months.
In congratulating persons who had come forward with their payments, Minister Buchanan noted that others who had not responded should decide, as there were other families in the area in need of the accommodations and willing to make the sacrifice. For persons unable to pay because of their “age and circumstances,” Minister Buchanan said the Ministry would make special arrangements for these residents to continue occupying the units.

JIS Social