JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government is looking to modify and reform the institutional structures relating to housing and to implement upgraded legislation for the operation and development of the real estate sector.
  • Dr. Chang said the administration in seeking to, in the short term; implement more public-private partnerships.
  • The JMB will be collating the information generated during the seminar and making it available to policymakers for the enabling of growth in the housing sector.

The Government is looking to modify and reform the institutional structures relating to housing and to implement upgraded legislation for the operation and development of the real estate sector.

Minister with Responsibility for Water and Housing in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said the current push of the Housing portfolio is to seek to reduce costs and improve housing access, while also increasing the transparency and credibility of the sector.

Dr. Chang was giving the keynote presentation at the Jamaica Mortgage Bank (JMB) 45th Anniversary Housing Seminar, on June 22 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.

The Minister said the Ministry is committed to the establishment of a Real Estate Board Authority, which will bring together the Strata Commission, the Timeshare Commission and the Real Estate Board.

He explained that this will allow “the legislative framework in which the sector is easily administered and able to manage real estate in a more effective way”.

Dr. Chang said a Townhouse and Gated Community Act to provide further legislation to guide the development and management of residential communities and other aspects of the real estate sector is also being considered.

The Government is also looking to amend the Rent Board Act over the course of next year, which will provide fairness to all parties in the rental industry.

Dr. Chang said the administration in seeking to, in the short term; implement more public-private partnerships.

“If the public sector engages the private sector, which will bring efficiencies, finance, skills and competitiveness to the scheme, we can control costs and achieve greater productivity in both numbers and quality at this time,” he said.

“I would like to blend the best of both worlds, because the public sector does have advantages and competencies required to ensure that low-income workers, in particular, can get homes of good quality,” the Minister added.

Dr. Chang, meanwhile, commended the hosting of the seminar, done under the theme ‘Achieving Economic Growth through Investment in the Housing Sector’.

He said it provides the opportunity for stakeholders to examine the sector and also impacts implementers and developers in the real estate industry as well as homeowners and aspiring homeowners.

“The housing sector is a vehicle the Government hopes to use to generate growth. In our perspective, investment in infrastructure will bring short-term growth. Capital invested in roads, housing and water generates immediate impact on the economy,” he said.

Dr. Chang hailed the JMB for its resilience and innovation in facilitating the construction industry over the years.

The seminar included presentations on a range of topics covering how the housing sector can drive growth, the balance between development and sustainable environment, and financing housing development through private-public partnerships.

A panel discussion was also hosted on the topic: ‘Removing Impediments to Orderly and Sustainable Development – Bridging the Demand/Supply Gap for Affordable and Safe Housing’.

The JMB will be collating the information generated during the seminar and making it available to policymakers for the enabling of growth in the housing sector.

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