New homeowners at the SilverSun Estate in St. Catherine have commended the Government for its steadfast move to expand housing solutions and for delivering houses in the development.
More than 200 of the 1,200 houses were recently handed over to the beneficiaries by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, with another 250 units to be delivered by year end.
Beneficiary, Nurse Treveen Palmer, tells JIS News that the development is “significant” and provides for great family building.
“It is very reassuring, and I will feel safe that my son has a place to grow up, and not just place to grow but a community where other professionals and other persons can influence his life to be productive,” she says.
Miss Palmer adds that the area is cool and the scenery is beautiful, which remind her of her childhood days growing in the parish of Clarendon.
“I am looking forward to a close-knit community, where persons can live together as one and be happy,” she says.
Another beneficiary of the National Housing Trust (NHT) development, Andrew Brodber, says receiving the new keys brought “extreme delight” to the new homeowners.
“We are feeling prosperous. We are very positive about our community being a model. We are committed to making SilverSun a great community. Sustainable development is our prime priority, and our children should feel safe and comfortable, hence criminal activities will not be tolerated. The police will be our friends,” Mr. Brodber tells JIS News.
To date, more than $2.3 billion has been expended on the development, providing over 300 jobs for different categories of workers at the site. The development is set for completion by April 2023.
In addition to houses, there will be social amenities, including a playing field, a multipurpose court, swimming pool, clubhouse and parking, and a preschool.
According to the Prime Minister, the current approach to housing solutions is to create communities. “It is to make sure that you can live in a secure community,” he explained.
SilverSun Estates is being developed under the NHT’s Guaranteed Purchase Programme, which was introduced in November 2018, where private developers are responsible for the design, implementation, maintenance and closing out of the projects.
Chairman of the NHT, Lennox Channer, says the project has allowed for the “harnessing of financial and other resources” of the private and the public sectors to provide housing solutions for the Trust’s contributors.
“The programme has created more opportunities to bridge the gap between supply and demand for affordable housing. The response to this initiative has been noteworthy… it shows a willingness by the private sector to partner with the Government in providing affordable housing solutions,” the Chairman points out.
Mr. Channer says the provision of housing accommodation is more than acquiring an asset, “but also a vehicle for real change to the socio-economic fortunes of our contributors”.
The NHT is executing a plan to deliver more than 3,000 additional new houses in the parish of St. Catherine, in five housing developments.
In fiscal year 2019/2020, the NHT’s housing budget was $40 billion, the largest in its 43-year history, and for the current financial year, a similar amount will be spent to deliver 6,000 housing solutions and to facilitate more than 9,400 mortgages.
Some of the developments being undertaken by the Trust in the parish are 825 units in Bernard Lodge, more than 1,300 two-bedroom units in Colbeck Castle, 140 units at Roseneath, and 110-two bedroom town houses at Twickenham Park, Phase 4.
The NHT was set up by the Government to lend money at low interest rates to its contributors who wish to build, buy or repair/improve their houses.
The Trust also develops housing schemes for sale to contributors and provides low-cost financing to private developers.