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Story Highlights

  • The Government is to make 2,760 residential serviced lots available by March 2016, as part of its mandate to provide affordable quality housing for all Jamaicans.
  • Minister without Portfolio in the Transport, Works and Housing Ministry, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, who made the announcement on November 4, said there is now real urgency to get many projects that have been long conceptualized, off the ground.
  • Dr. Guy said there was a delay in getting the Green Pond Development off the ground, and he is elated that the country is one step closer to reducing the housing deficit.

The Government is to make 2,760 residential serviced lots available by March 2016, as part of its mandate to provide affordable quality housing for all Jamaicans.

Minister without Portfolio in the Transport, Works and Housing Ministry, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, who made the announcement on November 4, said there is now real urgency to get many projects that have been long conceptualized, off the ground.

“In addition, we will also be delivering 1,492 residential serviced lots by September 2016,” Dr. Guy said.

“This is a partnership between the Ministry, the National Housing Trust (NHT) and the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) to fast track housing solutions. This is all a part of the recently announced Low Income Housing Programme of the Government,” he added.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Green Pond Housing Development in St. James, Dr. Guy said there was a delay in getting the Green Pond Development off the ground, and he is elated that the country is one step closer to reducing the housing deficit.

“From the perspective of government, the Ministry has been tasked with the responsibility to implement and institute policies to guide aspects of the human settlement factor,” he pointed out.

“Added to this, is the responsibility to identify and provide, where possible, suitable lands for development. While we continue to create and influence policy, we are still faced with the realities of lack of adequate vacant and developable land,” the Minister said.

Guy said the Green Pond housing development has been made possible through the utilization of approximately 71 acres of land owned by the Ministry.

He said that many factors have stymied the development of affordable housing solutions, including the high cost of inputs, labour costs, and more importantly, the developer’s profit.

“I want to issue a challenge today and posit that gone are the days when investors should be looking at return on investment of 40 per cent to 50 per cent.Today, interest rates are single digits and the return on investment should be commensurate with this rate. If we are to build the number of houses to adequately house our citizens, then I submit that the cost can be driven down if everyone accepts the realities of the present,” the Minister argued.