• JIS News

    A delegation from Canada, led by Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Minister of Sport, Helena Guergis, is currently on a three-day working visit to the island to explore investment opportunities in the country.
    Following a tour of a housing development, Caribbean Estate, in Portmore on (January 21), the Secretary of State told JIS News that the delegation was part of the new Canadian government’s ‘Americas strategy’. “We have an America’s strategy and that’s why you will see several Canadian Ministers travelling throughout the Americas to build stronger partnerships that will last for a lifetime and benefit citizens in both countries. So, 16 professional business women from Canada are here to explore opportunities and make contacts with other business women in Jamaica,” she explained.
    New Era Homes, the developers of Caribbean Estate, is a Canadian company that has been operating in Jamaica and the homes being built, a combination of two- bedroom flats and three-bedroom townhouses in clusters, are fashioned from homes being built in Canada. The Secretary of State said she was impressed with the quality of the houses being built.
    Minister of State in the Water and Housing Ministry, Everald Warmington, who conducted the tour, told JIS News that during discussions with the delegation, it was mentioned that Canada was looking at giving assistance to the country in housing, “particularly affordable housing which they would like to introduce here in Jamaica.”
    “That is something I’ll have to discuss with my Minister and see how we can proceed further,” the State Minister said.
    Caribbean Estate, part of a thrust to provide 15,000 houses annually, is a joint venture development project between the government and the private sector. When completed, about 1,000 middle income housing solutions would have been added to the housing stock of Portmore.
    The joint venture programme is being executed under an arrangement, where the land is owned by the individual developer and financing is done through different agencies, including the National Housing Trust (NHT). Under this deal, beneficiaries can save up to 20 per cent. However, they are restricted from selling the houses in less than 10 years or they will incur a penalty.

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