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Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., says a Bill to amend the Rent Restriction Act is expected to be tabled in Parliament by the end of this fiscal year.

He said the amendments seek to strengthen the outdated provisions and address the challenges faced by landlords and tenants.

“A viable rental industry is essential as an option to access adequate, safe and legal housing solutions for all Jamaicans,” Mr. Charles Jr. said, during the sitting of the House of Representatives on November 30.

Further to extensive consultations and issuing of drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel (CPC), the Minister said “we are now awaiting the fifth Draft Bill, which we anticipate being the final draft before Cabinet’s consideration and approval”.

Meanwhile, the Minister noted that his Ministry continues to pursue the development of the National Housing Policy and Implementation Plan, which is the overarching guideline for the housing sector.

He said it is expected that the Policy will be tabled in the Parliament as a White Paper by the end of the 2021/2022 financial year.

The National Housing Policy and Implementation Plan promotes a wide range of mechanisms to increase access for all income levels.

These include fostering partnerships with the private sector and other providers to increase the supply of additional housing solutions to meet projected demand; rationalising the roles of the public-sector agencies directly involved in the provision of housing; identifying mechanisms to make land more accessible to all income groups for housing development; providing a framework to support the delivery of social housing, particularly for the vulnerable and disadvantaged; and establishing mechanisms to reduce the impacts of natural disasters and other emergencies on human settlements.

“Extensive consultations have been completed with ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and other critical stakeholders. The document is now in final stages of examination by a Technical Review Committee and will then be submitted to Cabinet for consideration and approval,” Mr. Charles Jr. said.

 

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