Minister with responsibility for Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy says the Government is exploring several options to minimise constructions costs as it continues to provide affordable houses for Jamaicans.
“One of my mandates in the Ministry is to make sure that, in terms of construction costs, these are as affordable as possible. We’re looking at new technologies, we are looking at ways and means to see how we can reduce the construction costs,” Dr. Guy said as he addressed journalists on Friday March 9 during a tour of several new housing projects being undertaken by the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) in Portmore, St. Catherine.
The Minister pointed out that another measure being looked at is utilizing ‘dry wall’ material on the interior of the units in order to further reduce costs. He said that investors have also indicated an interest in providing building technology suitable for the construction of houses in Jamaica as a tropical country, that will meet certain standards in terms of resistance to earthquakes and hurricanes.
Dr. Guy, who spoke to the media after viewing one of the nearly completed houses in Westmeade Willows, said he was impressed with the two-bedroom units which boast spacious interiors with room for expansion. The units, which cost $8 million are expected to be ready to be handed over to their owners within a month.
“I can say that I am impressed with the activity here today, and it is part of not only the Ministry, but the Government of Jamaica’s thrust to ensure that there is housing solutions available to different sectors of the population,” he said.
Member of Parliament for East Central St. Catherine, and State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, who said his constituency is particularly challenged in terms of the quality of housing, said he was pleased to hear from the Minister that “a menu of options will be placed on the table in relation to housing solutions”.
“I look forward to working along with the Minister and various agencies such as the HAJ…and I hope that we will be able to improve the quality of life of the residents and citizens of this constituency and by extension Jamaica, by providing them with quality, affordable housing,” he said.
Minister Guy was led on a tour of Westmeade Willows and other housing projects in Portmore by the executives of the HAJ. This included Portmore Villas, Beverley Flats, Braeton Meadows, Palms of Portmore and the Country Club townhouse development. These tours formed part of the Minister’s continued familiarization activities as he acquaints himself with some of the projects under his remit.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter