Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, on February 24, broke ground for the development of the Boscobel Operation Pride Project in St. Mary.
The project, which will involve construction of new roadways, the completion of roads already laid out, and the provision of electricity, will be implemented on lands adjacent to the Ian Flemming International Airport in Boscobel.
This project will be undertaken as part of the Operation Pride Programme of the Housing Agency of Jamaica Limited, and has been contracted to Dwight’s Construction Limited, with a duration of 90 days.
The contract sum is approximately J$20.5 million, and the Housing Agency of Jamaica Limited will provide technical and project management, as well as facilitate the regularisation of tenure. The community comprises 278 lots, of which some 200 are occupied.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Chang said the project was an indication of the Ministry’s commitment to provide housing solutions for poor Jamaicans.
He also added that consideration is being given to making adjustments to the regulations governing the subdivision of properties, to make it easier for poor persons to become certified land owners.
Dr. Chang argued that the practice of land squatting has evolved in Jamaica for many reasons, with a major problem being the difficulty encountered in the implementation of land subdivision.
He said that those persons who had settled on the PRIDE land informally, will be given the opportunity to purchase the areas they occupy and subsequently provided with registered titles.
Noting that the contract relating to the development of the project is the first of its kind to be entered into by government with a private company, the Minister said he is confident that the Boscobel development will result in the creation of a dynamic community with responsible and co-operative residents.
Member of Parliament for Western St. Mary, Hon. Robert Montague, said he is personally committed to the development of the project, and the regularisation of the tenure of the persons occupying the land in the area.
Mr. Montague said the project is part of a general programme of development being implemented in the constituency, adding that he is fully committed to the development of housing solutions in the communities of Galina, Hamilton Mountain and Salisbury, to lift the people of St. Mary out of poverty.
Also speaking at the function were Mayor of Port Maria, Councillor Richard Creary, who commended the Ministry of Water and Housing and the Housing Agency of Jamaica for implementing the project, and Joseph Shoucair, Managing Director of the Housing Agency of Jamaica.
CONTACT: ASTON G. BAILEY
JIS REGIONAL OFFICE