JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) Chairman, Norman Brown, says the entity will honour the sales prices offered to initial depositors in the Bernard Lodge housing project in St. Catherine.
  • The deposits have been retained since 2013 when construction was originally slated to start but was put on hold due to the inability of HAJ’s partner at the time to execute the project.
  • Work on the development, called Catherine Estates, is now scheduled to start in November under a $9.5-billion joint venture partnership between the HAJ and China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) to provide 1,650 studio and one-bedroom units.

Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) Chairman, Norman Brown, says the entity will honour the sales prices offered to initial depositors in the Bernard Lodge housing project in St. Catherine.

The deposits have been retained since 2013 when construction was originally slated to start but was put on hold due to the inability of HAJ’s partner at the time to execute the project.

Work on the development, called Catherine Estates, is now scheduled to start in November under a $9.5-billion joint venture partnership between the HAJ and China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) to provide 1,650 studio and one-bedroom units.

The prices will range from $5.5 million per studio to $6.6 million for a one-bedroom unit.

Speaking during Tuesday’s (October 15) contract-signing ceremony at Jamaica House, Mr. Brown indicated that of the more than 700 initial depositors, “only 47 of those depositors’ funds remained with the agency”.

“The HAJ will honour the 2013 prices for those 47 depositors, who believed in us and who felt that the project would, indeed, become a reality,” he said.

He said the HAJ is pleased to partner with CHEC to implement the project, which will be undertaken over 54 months.

“We are looking forward to the start and the ground-breaking ceremony… and we are also looking forward to the same enthusiastic response from prospective purchasers… because we know that the demand is out there… and we will do our best to fulfil our role in the housing market,” he said.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, welcomed the announcement by the HAJ Chairman.

“It is a “good gesture,” he said, adding that “those persons, I believe, deserve to get that benefit… [for] having kept faith and leaving their deposits”.

Mr. Holness said the 1,650 units at Catherine Estates form part of the 3,027 affordable solutions, which the HAJ is slated to deliver by the end of the 2019/20 fiscal year, next March.

Additionally, he said the development will be the largest undertaken in St. Catherine since the construction of Greater Portmore in 1992.

The Prime Minister noted that Catherine Estates will be developed in six phases, comprising 14 clusters with wide-ranging amenities and features.

These include potable water supply and connection to the National Water Commission’s (NWC) centralised sewerage system, storm-water drainage, road networks, sidewalks, and streetlights.

Additionally, there will be two large parks for community recreation and land earmarked to build a primary school and high school, as well as a church, police station, health centre and commercial facilities.