The Government and the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) are in discussion about access to lands in the Mountpelier area of St. James, to facilitate the provision of housing solutions for residents in the Montego Bay area.
Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Transport Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, made the disclosure during a media briefing on Friday June 22, on the second day of his tour of housing developments across western Jamaica.
He pointed out over 1000 acres of the DBJ’s Mountpelier property is up for divestment, and that part of the property will be reserved for agricultural use and housing. “So we are looking at elements of this to see what can be done,” he informed, adding that the provision of housing solutions is part of the government’s policy in advancing the economy.
Dr. Guy noted that the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) is already doing significant work in the parish of Westmoreland.
During the three-day tour the Minister and his team is visiting over 22 communities across St. James and Hanover, all at different stages of development. Some of these are informal settlements while others are being developed under the Operation Pride programme.
Minister Guy assured that the government is cognisant of the need for housing in the west, and was approaching the matter with due priority.
He highlighted the importance of providing land titles. “It is my belief, and it is borne out by some objective evidence, that land is one of those elements in the whole economy that if you can unlock that potential you can help to grow the economy,” he stated.
The Minister said the tour of the housing developments across the parishes has given him first-hand knowledge of the issues that are prevalent in the different communities.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter