Several projects are being undertaken by the Government to increase the housing stock for Jamaicans.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Everald Warmington, said in tandem with the work being done by the housing agencies to increase the housing stock, the Projects and Technical Services Branch of the Ministry is also undertaking
construction as well as the installation of infrastructure via infills, settlement regularisation, relocation and new buildouts in several areas.
Among the projects is the installation of infrastructure for 26 serviced lots at Pemberton Valley, Oracabessa, St. Mary, at a cost of $55 million. The project was completed in the 2021/2022 financial year and the lots are to be sold on the open market.
Making his contribution to the 2022/23 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives recently, Mr. Warmington said the project for the construction of 130 units at Rasta City Housing Development, Tivoli Gardens, Kingston, is currently at a tender stage.
The project, which is funded and managed by the National Housing Trust (NHT), is to commence in the last quarter of the 2022/23 financial year, with a duration of 30 months.
Furthermore, he said the Canterbury Relocation Project includes construction of 86 two-bedroom apartments with related infrastructure at Albion, St. James.
The project is set to commence in the last quarter of the 2022/23 financial year, with a duration of 36 months.
The project is funded by the NHT with some $186 million committed for the 2022/2023 Financial year.
Mr. Warmington noted that the informal occupants of lands at Canterbury are to be relocated on completion of the development.
In the meantime, he said the Ministry is moving to regularise the occupants of more than 120 such households in Kingston and St. Andrew and St. James.
He said the Land Administration Management Branch of the Ministry will be taking steps to acquire six properties in Sandy Park Road, Kingston 6, which were declared under the Local Improvements (Community Amenities) Act.
The properties are 2, 4, 6, 8, 8B and 10 Sandy Park Road. Steps will also be taken to acquire 12 properties in Stanville, Kingston 6, which were upgraded by the Ministry of Housing, in order to regularise the occupation of more than 300 households and seven properties in Bottom Pen, Montego Bay, St. James, which were partially upgraded, to regularise more than 500 households.
Mr. Warmington said approximately 30 surveys will be contracted at a cost of $38 million, noting that 23 of these are subdivision surveys that will facilitate the issuing of 735 new certificates of title.
In the meantime, he said the Social Services Branch of the Ministry has taken steps to divest 241 solutions comprising both brownfield and greenfield developments
They include Vanzieland, Trelawny, 188; Windsor Heights, St. Catherine, 21; Culloden, Westmoreland, 2; West Albion, St. Thomas, 6; York Hill, Hanover, 3; Seville Estate, St. Ann, 1; Wallens, St. Catherine, 2; Old Harbour Glades, 2; Chippenham, St. Ann, 1; Curatoe Hill, Clarendon, 1; Arnett Gardens, St. Andrew, 1; Flankers, St. James, 2; Ebony Park, Clarendon, 1; Tredegar Park, St. Catherine, 1; Hopewell, Portland, 1; Tawes Pen, St. Catherine, 1; Meylers Piece, Westmoreland, 1; Seivwright, St. Catherine, 1; Darlingford, Portland,1; and Hague, Trelawny, 1.
He said the Unit also collected more than $109 million from both reflows and inflows.
The Minister said the Ministry continues to meet the most vulnerable of the population with housing assistance.
Approximately 155 housing assistance requests were investigated by the Branch during the 2021/22 financial year and building grant allocations were awarded in the sum of more than $28 million.
He said the Government remains committed to increase access to affordable housing solutions through the provision of 70,000 affordable housing solutions within a five-year period.
“The Ministry and its implementing agencies are moving apace to achieve this target and to provide the necessary enabling framework within which the Government of Jamaica can realise its goals to safe, legal and affordable housing solutions for all Jamaicans by 2030,” he said.