JIS News

All Jamaicans will have access to affordable, safe and legal housing solutions by 2025, Minister of Water and Housing, Donald Buchanan told the House of Representatives, yesterday (June 15).
Making his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate, the Minister said that notwithstanding the success of the past, there were still major challenges to be faced, especially in providing housing solutions for the lower end of the market. In addition, he said the projected expansion in the tourism and bauxite sectors would significantly increase the demand for housing.
Mr. Buchanan pointed out that some 137,900 houses were built by the government during the decade of the 90s.
By underestimating the demand for housing that would arise as a result of the expansion in the tourist industry, the Minister said opportunities have been unwittingly created for the establishment of large informal squatter settlements in areas such as Boscobel, Ocho Rios, Falmouth and Montego Bay.
“It is for this reason that I have mandated my officers to commence an assessment of the effective demand for housing that will ensue from the proposed expansion in the tourist and bauxite sectors, so that we can effectively plan for them,” the Minister said.
He noted that dialogue has already been initiated with representatives from the Ministry of Development and other relevant government agencies to put the necessary framework in place to provide affordable housing for these workers.
The Minister said that to date, a joint venture agreement has been signed for the construction of 493 units at Rosedale in St. James and already work has begun. “We are also in the process of negotiating with major developers for the construction of 1,500 units at Shaw Park in St. Ann as well as for the creation of 234 serviced lots at Green Park and 64 serviced lots at Kings Land, both in the parish of St. Ann,” he informed.
The Jamaica Mortgage Bank, the Minister announced, would also be financing three housing developments on the North Coast during this year. These are Greenwich Estate in St. Ann, which will provide 130 units, and Irwin Point and Mango Walk, both in St. James, which will provide 145 and 242 units, respectively.
Minister Buchanan said the National Housing Development Corporation (NHDC) has targeted some 6,612 solutions to come on stream in the tourism and bauxite expansion areas.

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