JIS News

Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang, has said he is pleased with the outcome of a joint venture agreement between the Government and New Era Homes, which is providing almost 1,000 middle income housing solutions in Portmore, St. Catherine. Under the joint venture programme, the land is owned by the individual developer and financing is done through different agencies, including the National Housing Trust (NHT). Government involvement could allow beneficiaries to realise savings of up to 20 per cent. However, beneficiaries are restricted from selling the house under 10 years or they will incur a penalty.
Speaking with JIS News following a tour of the development recently, Minister Chang said the project had met the standards mandated by government, adding that the project was part of government’s thrust to provide some 15,000 homes per year. He emphasised that to achieve this goal, the joint venture facility would have to be utilised.
The development includes two and three bedroom units and town houses utilizing a gated cluster concept. “This is a nice development; the quality is good; the layout, the management, the cluster concept is really people and community-friendly. They’ve put in the facilities, including a small commercial area, a nice playing field; they’re using a lot of solar and the space is good,” he said.
Dr. Chang pointed out that the houses were designed to meet the needs of young professionals, and that there was good value for money in the project.The Minister said he was concerned about the rising costs of housing units and that the government would be looking at the contributing factors. “We’re really concerned that inflation on real estate is growing fast and therefore house prices are going up.
There is a great demand and the supply is short and we have to find ways of ensuring that the demand is met,” he noted.
Dr. Chang stressed that the possibility of manufacturing more of the inputs locally would have to be explored, to reduce the basic cost of units.

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