The National Housing Trust (NHT) has invested approximately $677.5 million in its first major housing development in Manchester.
Located at Perth, the 592-acre development is just a few kilometers from the town centre of Mandeville.
The Trust began the official hand over of service lots to the first 25, of 245 beneficiaries in Phase 1 of the development, on Wednesday, March 20, following a bus tour of the project site. Phase 1 is situated on 136 acres, of which 42.5 acres are reserved for parks and green spaces and three acres for commercial activity.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, who was keynote speaker at the handing over ceremony, said the Government is doing its part in satisfying the increased demand for housing in the parish.
She added that the Perth scheme demonstrates the administration’s commitment to planned development, which must include the social infrastructure to support sustainable development.
“It is important that when we are building, we not only put down houses, but we put in the facilities to complement (this) and to make sure that life will be much easier for the persons purchasing these lots,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
One feature of the Perth Housing Development is that each beneficiary will have to practise rain water harvesting, using their roof as catchment. The move has already been approved by the Manchester Parish Council.
The Prime Minister said the NHT has been working with the National Water Commission (NWC) on the development of a water source at Peppers,
St. Elizabeth and the Perth Development should be added to this source and have piped water by 2015.
In the meantime, the NHT has installed a water supply distribution system for the development and installed a 300,000-gallon water storage tank, which is now full and ready to be used in cases of emergency.
In congratulating the beneficiaries, Mrs. Simpson Miller charged them to unite, live in peace with each other and ensure that they create a model community at Perth.
Proud beneficiary, Caroline Lawson, thanked the NHT on behalf of the others.
“I am not the bravest, but the proudest,” she said as she gave thanks.
“This March 20, 2013 is an extra special day for us. One of our best dreams have come true, that of owning a piece of property on which to build a home,” she added.
The development will have two upcoming phases, which will add another 1,400 housing solutions in the parish. This will include 350 housing units in Phase 1A and 1,050 housing solutions in Phase 2.
By Andrea Braham, JIS Reporter