JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, is looking to draft a squatter policy, which will guide the development of informal communities across the country.
  • Director of Housing Policy in the Ministry, Paula Parks, said the policy will incorporate recommendations from the Draft National Housing Policy.
  • The Draft National Housing Policy was prepared in 2011 by teams from the University of Technology and the University of the West Indies. A committee has been established by the Ministry to review the draft.

The Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, is looking to draft a squatter policy, which will guide the development of informal communities across the country.

Director of Housing Policy in the Ministry, Paula Parks, said the policy will incorporate recommendations from the Draft National Housing Policy.

“The Ministry will be looking to develop a squatter policy outside of the National Housing Policy. However, the national policy will give some recommendations as it relates to the development and improvement of informal settlements, such as regularisation and containment,” Ms. Parks informed, at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank on January 21.

The Draft National Housing Policy was prepared in 2011 by teams from the University of Technology and the University of the West Indies. A committee has been established by the Ministry to review the draft.

The Housing Director also informed that the Ministry will be consulting the residents of informal communities for feedback on how their living conditions can be improved.

“It’s a bottom up approach so the Ministry and the communities will have to work together to help shape the solutions to the issues within these communities,” she added.

Ms. Parks said the need for a squatter policy is mainly to address the substantial drift from rural to urban areas.

“Urbanisation is here to stay with us and at the rate at which urbanisation is happening, the cities cannot keep up with the services that are required to be delivered to these persons,” she noted.

Along with the recommendations from the National Housing Policy and residents, the Housing Ministry will also look at the findings from the United Nation’s Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP).

Jamaica is set to launch phase two of the programme, which will be executed from January to September 2015, and will incorporate a capacity building mechanism known as Participatory Action Planning.

The PSUP’s objective is to contribute to improving the living conditions of the urban poor.

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