The first draft of a National Housing Policy should be ready by the end of December.
This was announced by Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang, while giving the main address at a handing over ceremony for housing solutions, at Water Works, Westmoreland, on December 17.
Approximately 98 housing solutions, consisting of housing units and serviced lots, were handed over to beneficiaries at Water Works.
The Minister said that if adopted, the Policy should set the kind of framework required for the provision of necessary shelter solutions.
He added that a critical element of the policy is the expectation of expanding and deepening the development of joint venture projects between Government and the private sector.
“We accept that in the public sector, we do not have the capacity to deliver houses to the level that the country requires, neither human planning nor having an adequate amount of land,” the Minister said.
Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang, presents Beverly Allen with the keys to her newly acquired National Housing Trust (NHT) house, at Water Works, Westmoreland, at a handing over ceremony, on December 17. At left is the Branch Manager of the NHT in Westmoreland, Lorna Bernard.
Dr. Chang added that abiding by the Government’s procurement policy could also be very restrictive in moving things at the required rate, and as such, the private sector’s involvement in the development of the required amount of housing solutions is very essential. The policy is also intended to ensure some amount of cohesiveness between Government agencies, he explained.
The Minister said it is his intention to ensure that the Government, in conjunction with the private sector, achieves the target of providing housing solutions to all Jamaicans over the next few years. He pointed out that some 10,000 housing solutions are needed to match the housing demand of the country.
He said this would assist in curbing the growth of informal settlements, which are growing in such high numbers, that they are beginning to change the character of Jamaican communities, and some of the changes are not changes that are desirable.
The Minister said that it is Jamaicans who have experience, exposure and the necessary skills, who are engaged in developing the Housing Policy.