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Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, on Thursday (July 29), broke ground for the construction of 125 houses, as part of a new housing development in Westmeade, Portmore, St. Catherine.
The development, named Westmeade Willows, will be implemented under the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) and will comprise 125 detached two-bedroom houses at a cost of $663.6 million.

Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang (left) and Chairman of the Board of the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ), David Chung, break ground for the new housing development in Westmeade Willows, Portmore, St. Catherine, on July 29.

This brings to three, the number of HAJ housing projects now under construction in Portmore. The others are Palms of Portmore and Portmore Villas 2. The three projects will provide well over 400 new housing solutions in the Municipality.
On completion, the 12.2-hectare development, which adjoins the communities of Portmore Gardens, Southboro and Garveymeade, will be complete with all the amenities for modern living, such as paved roads, electricity, potable water, sewage disposal system and storm water drainage.
Minister Chang projected that the houses could be sold for approximately $8 million each, adding that they would serve as “starter homes” for low to medium income earners, who would wish to expand at a later date.
Dr. Chang said the Ministry continued to work assiduously to improve the availability of affordable housing solutions for Jamaicans.

Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang (second left), breaks ground for the new housing development in Westmeade Willows, Portmore, St. Catherine, on Thursday (July 29). Others (from left) are: Member of Parliament for St. Catherine South Eastern, Colin Fagan; Chairman of the Board of the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ), David Chung and Mayor of Portmore, Keith Hinds.

“Every effort is being made to ensure that over the next four to five years, we can again generate a housing sector that will provide enough houses for workers in this country and build the kind of communities that we can all be proud of,” he said.
“That is the objective and the mission of the Ministry of Housing and we’re working closely with all the other agencies involved, (so) I think we are on the road to that kind of success,” the Minister added.
He pointed out that the three developments should provide employment for about 300 construction workers.

Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang (centre) surveys the land on which the new Westmeade Willows housing development will be constructed, during a groundbreaking ceremony in Portmore, St. Catherine, on July 29. Others (from left) are: Managing Director of the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ), Joseph Shoucair and Chairman the HAJ, David Chung.

Mayor of Portmore, Keith Hinds, in endorsing the new development, said the people of the Municipality were grateful to the HAJ, as “there was a great need for more low income housing in Portmore.”
The Westmeade Willows development is the latest of several housing projects launched by the HAJ in the past year. The agency aims to provide affordable shelter solutions for lower to middle income earners, as it seeks to fulfill its mandate of providing some 10, 000 housing solutions to the Jamaican public by 2013.
The agency also began construction on the Lilford Avenue Apartments in St. Andrew, in May, which is one of several projects currently under construction.
The list includes Stadium Gardens Phase 2, in St. Andrew; Luana Phase 3 in St. Elizabeth; Eden Park in St. Mary; Whitehall Phase 2 in Westmoreland, as well as the upgrading of infrastructure in several informal communities, including Flanker, Norwood and Lilliput in St. James and Shaw Park Heights in St. Ann.
By year end the HAJ is expected to begin construction on the US$71.2 million Chinese funded housing projects, to build some 3,000 solutions in St. Elizabeth and St. Ann.