Project Hope to Assist Poor and Vulnerable

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, the Hon. C. Everald Warmington, MP, makes his contribution to the 2016/2017 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 06, 2016. (File)

Story Highlights

  • State Minister for Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Everald Warmington, has announced the introduction of the Housing, Opportunity, Prosperity, Employment (HOPE) Programme, which will provide a one-stop shop for Government’s social-intervention programmes.
  • The programme, Mr. Warmington noted, will offer Members of Parliament (MP) an efficient system in streamlining programmes for constituency development.
  • The State Minister said that the Government will be spending $708.7 million on this phase, noting that each MP will be allocated $10 million for projects in their constituency.

State Minister for Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Everald Warmington, has announced the introduction of the Housing, Opportunity, Prosperity, Employment (HOPE) Programme, which will provide a one-stop shop for Government’s social-intervention programmes.

Mr. Warmington, who was making his contribution to the 2016/17 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (July 6), said HOPE will incorporate several programmes/initiatives that are being undertaken by various ministries/agencies.

These include Production Incentive Programme; Short-term Poverty Alleviation Programme; small-business loans; public-assistance grants; Urban Renewal Housing Programme; infrastructure development programmes; and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).

The programme, Mr. Warmington noted, will offer Members of Parliament (MP) an efficient system in streamlining programmes for constituency development.

“Each MP will be able to manage and plan the support to their constituents through a central hub,” he said.

“The HOPE programme will offer a range of services to its targeted beneficiaries as well as opportunities for the submission of project proposals from MPs, community-based organisations and participating agencies,” the State Minister said.

It will provide social assistance and social services to the poor and vulnerable, grants for micro income-generating activities, and specific and diversified loan products.

HOPE will also undertake assessment and provide relief assistance to victims of man-made and natural disasters, redevelop Government tenements, provide on-the-job training programmes, provide wooden and concrete housing solutions, and renovate community/public facilities.

Mr. Warmington said applications for benefits will be vetted based on a pre-determined list of criteria.

“We are looking to have this developed based on the current methodology used by the participating agencies. We will be employing a cadre of social workers and project officers to investigate the cases submitted for consideration,” he informed.

Applications can be submitted/received through MPs; the HOPE Programme (direct application); community-based organisations; and participating agencies, such as the HEART Trust/NTA and the Social Development Commission (SDC).

The HOPE Programme replaces the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP), which was conceptualised to provide short-term employment, particularly for persons at the lower socio-economic level.

“JEEP (will) be subsumed under this new thrust. Six phases of this programme have already been completed. We are now going to be moving into a seventh phase,” Mr. Warmington explained.

The State Minister said that the Government will be spending $708.7 million on this phase, noting that each MP will be allocated $10 million for projects in their constituency.

“A further $157 million will also be spent on special projects to include things such as manhole replacement and sidewalk rehabilitation that are submitted by community-based groups,” he said.

JIS Social