JIS News

The Government will be relocating the occupants of 1,500 homes that are located in five communities, which are prone to flooding.
Minister of Water and Housing , Dr. Horace Chang, in a statement in the House of Representatives yesterday (Oct. 30), said that the areas to be relocated are Old Harbour Bay, St. Catherine; Portland Cottage and Rocky Point in Clarendon; Duhaney Pen in St. Thomas; and Caribbean Terrace in the Harbour View area of Kingston, which were severely damaged during hurricanes Ivan and Dean. He said that the Ministry “is advanced in the process of identifying lands to which these communities will be relocated,” and will be working with its associated agencies in addition to the Jamaica Defence Force, to establish basic infrastructure on the new sites, including providing primary roads, water and electricity for serviced lots. “We are currently examining a number of housing solutions for construction of these lots, and will be making a decision on this shortly,” Dr. Chang said.
He noted that based on the budgetary support allocated for this category of household, assistance in terms of construction materials and cash grants will be given to each relocated household to make a start on a new home.”As soon as the plans are finalised regarding land required and housing solution decided on, I will make another report to the House,” Dr. Chang said.
He said that the Government is particularly concerned about conditions in St. Catherine and Clarendon, and hopes to get work underway in those areas as “quickly as possible, hopefully by next week”.
In the meantime, he indicated that assistance will be provided to the owners of an additional 3,000 houses scattered throughout the island, which were destroyed during Hurricane Dean.
“We are looking at a number of them for cash grants, which would be significant” Dr. Chang said, noting that non-governmental organisations such as the Red Cross will be providing housing units in some areas.
“As soon as the (assistance) list is verified by all the stakeholders including Members of Parliament, churches and all other groups interested from the communities, the work will be done in getting vouchers, cash cheques or material to the affected communities and individuals,” the Minister added.

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