Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, says some 5,900 potential serviced lots have been identified across the island and will be developed as housing solutions, under the National Housing Programme (NHP).
Speaking in Balaclava, St. Elizabeth, on December 9, where Certificates of Possession were handed out to beneficiaries of the Balaclava Heights housing development, Dr. Guy said the development would take place under a joint venture programme.
“After conducting an assessment of existing properties owned by the National Housing Trust (NHT), the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) and the Ministry of Housing, it is estimated that some 5,900 serviced lots from lands identified can be designed and developed rapidly. These lots can be used to construct housing units under the joint Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, HAJ, Food for the Poor programme, and the NHT’s small contractor’s programme,” the Minister noted.
Dr. Guy said in an effort to fast-track the delivery of housing solutions to low income earners, the Government intends to start construction of 2,700 residential serviced lots by March next year, with another 1,500 to be delivered by September 2016.
He said the Government is aware that a holistic approach is needed in order to adequately address the matter of providing adequate housing solutions for Jamaicans.
“The role of Government is not only to seek to build houses, but also to act as a catalyst and make appropriate investments and create the right environment where all Jamaicans may gain and secure quality housing, while removing existing barriers in the housing sector. We therefore must take a holistic approach in addressing the housing deficit,” the Minister said.
Dr. Guy said the Government has accepted the mandate of providing housing for Jamaicans, as it is also a basic human right.
“The provision of adequate housing solutions to all Jamaicans ranks very high on the development agenda of this Administration. Providing shelter for our people cannot merely be just another task to complete, but must be viewed as fulfilling a basic human right,” the Minister added.