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KINGSTON — Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Government is taking a “game-changing approach” to providing housing for Jamaicans, through effective collaboration with the National Housing Trust (NHT), Jamaica Mortgage Bank, the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ), and the private sector.

He said with this approach, the Ministry, through its agencies will be “delivering far more houses this year that have been done in a long time. The construction that it generates will employ thousands of workers across Jamaica”.

Dr. Chang was speaking at the $802.5 million contract signing with N.F. Barnes Construction Company for the development of 159 serviced lots and 99 two-bedroom units in Boscobel, St. Mary, at the HAJ’s offices in Kingston last week.

“We are willing to work with different elements….there is no magic solution…it is really putting together an effective policy framework that will ensure that we can deliver more affordable housing to the workers of this country and in the process, stimulate the economy and get the construction sector moving in the right direction again,” he stated.

The slew of housing developments that are to be rolled out, many of which are slated to begin within the next six months, include: Whitehall (Phase III and IV), Westmoreland; Greenpond, Greater Retirement, Grange Pen, and Rhyne Park in

St. James; Mona (Section 1) in St. Andrew; Roaring River in St. Ann; and Shooters Hill and Bernard Lodge in St. Catherine. These total 3,715 lots and 4, 961 units at a combined cost of just over $19 billion.

The Housing Minister noted that much of the developments on the north coast are “designed to prevent the continued expansion of informal settlements in the tourism sector… we expect, very shortly, that squatting (will be) history on the north coast”.

He indicated that funding is being sourced for developments on the south coast, and that details will be announced at a later date.

 

By ALPHEA SAUNDERS, JIS Reporter