Consultant on the National Housing Policy, Mr. Carlton Cunningham, has said that the construction industry in Jamaica must be developed, with more players involved in the sector.
“At the moment, if there is a major job to be done in construction or any major housing development, I guarantee you that there will be two or three or maybe four names that will pop up again and again,” Mr. Cunningham said.
He was speaking at the final in a series of four consultations on the draft policy, which was held on Thursday (Sept. 24) on the University of Technology (UTech) campus in Papine, St. Andrew.
The consultations, organised by the Ministry of Water and Housing, facilitated discussions and input by interest groups for the development of a national framework, which will create an enabling environment for the housing sector to develop and grow.
The policy outlines approaches to facilitate better utilisation of resources in the public and private sectors, so as to satisfy the demand for housing in a co-ordinated and economical manner, and to respond to the diverse needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable persons within the society.
Housing Policy Specialist, Mr. Desmond Hall (left), in discussion with Senior Director, Housing Solutions, Ministry of Water and Housing, Mrs. Doreen Prendergast, at a public consultation on the National Housing Policy, held on September 24, at the University of Technology (UTech), in Kingston.
Focus is placed on key factors such as: demographics, infrastructure, tenure, need, financing, income distribution and affordability, land availability and community participation.
According to Mr. Cunningham, the private sector must drive housing development while the Government provides the framework. “This is not an accidental process; it is a method that has been utilised in many countries,” he stated.
He also noted the need to expand the role of community-based organisations (CBOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the housing process.
“One of the principal objectives of the policy is to establish a mechanism to bring CBOs and NGOs into mainstream housing decision making and to expand their roles in the housing delivery process,” Mr. Cunningham said.
Recommendations from the public consultations and the technical and intra-ministerial committees will be collated in a report, which will be forwarded to the consultants for consideration in the formulation of a second draft of the policy.
The previous sessions were held on September 16 and 17 in Montego Bay, St. James and on Wednesday (Sept. 23) at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices.