MONTEGO BAY – Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says that the government is prepared to partner with private investors to improve the country's housing stock.
Addressing the groundbreaking ceremony for the Little Bay Country Club housing development in Negril, Westmoreland, on Saturday March 12, Dr. Chang said the lack of investment in low-income housing could be blamed for the number of informal settlements which have developed across the country.
Little Bay Country Club Housing Development, the eight major housing project to be constructed by Robert Cartade's Selective Homes, will consist of approximately 171 units. It will cost approximately $3 billion, and is sited on some 23 acres of land. It is scheduled to be completed in December, 2012.
The Minister admitted that there are major impediments to investing in housing in Jamaica, including: bad macro-economic policy; hyper-inflation; regulatory impediments; absence of a facilitatory housing development policy; and lack of political will to manage investments in low income housing, effectively.
"This government is deeply and sincerely committed to reversing all of these factors. It is moving a little bit slowly, but there has to be changes," he stated. He added that steps are being made to remove the regulatory impediments which are difficult for developers.
"In the mean time, I want to assure developers that I am willing to use the Housing Act as a facilitatory measure in a positive manner," he emphasized.
Dr. Chang assured that the Housing Act will be used, in partnership with credible developers, to assist in speeding up the delivery of housing solutions.
He noted that over 4,500 housing solutions were provided last year, and this year plans are to get closer to the target of 10,000 solutions for the year, as more private developers are incorporated.
It was also announced that Selective Homes is in negotiations with the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), to acquire lands for the construction of approximately 2,000 low income housing solutions in Hanover.
Contact: Bryan Miller
JIS Regional Office