Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has disclosed that the Government has secured an additional $400 million for the social housing programme.
Mr. Holness, who was speaking at a recent handover of a three-bedroom house to a family in his West Central St. Andrew constituency, said that with the additional funds, more than 500 units could be built during the current financial year.
“The programme is being expanded, we are finding ways to get it [done] cheaper, and very soon we will be able to scale it up,” he said, noting that the Government is finding ways to put more resources into the construction of the houses.
The PM told his audience that a clear criterion to benefit from the programme, is that persons must demonstrate that they can’t afford a mortgage. He said they will pay back in how they care for the units, and also, they must be outstanding citizens in their communities and ambassadors of peace.
An initial $500 million was budgeted for the programme, and the Prime Minister reported that approvals have been done for 259 units from a list of 327 submissions; 49 have been completed.
The two- and three-bedroom houses are built under the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment Programme (HOPE), which was initiated by the Prime Minister, and launched in 2018.
The programme was developed to improve the housing condition of the country’s indigent population. The houses under the HOPE initiative are distributed equally to all 63 constituencies.