JIS News

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is expressing confidence in the ability of the National Housing Trust (NHT) Board to make the Inner City Renewal Programme a success.

Mrs. Simpson Miller, during her 2013/14 Budget Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (April 30), announced the resumption of the housing project beginning next financial year.

Addressing a post-Budget press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister today (May 3), the Prime Minister affirmed her faith in the initiative and its ability to transform lives.

"Look at Denham Town, look at Majesty Gardens. Look at all the areas (where) we have done it and check the people, their lives, and the change in attitude and behaviour from those who are still living in the shacks and the squalor," she stated.

The Prime Minster pointed out that the programme involves more than the building of houses, noting that the Government works with the beneficiaries to improve their lives.

"We have programmes with the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and a number of other organisations working with the people to ensure that training is also a component, so that those who do not have the money or who are not employed, will be able to get jobs," Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

She noted that the beneficiaries are required to pay their mortgages. "When they do not pay, their houses are put on the auction block like everybody else," she said.

She further pointed out that the NHT has been building a mix of housing solutions catering to both low and middle income earners.

The Inner City Renewal Programme was established as part of an urban renewal project aimed at addressing the repair, refurbishment and upgrading of downtown Kingston.

Housing units completed under the project in the Corporate Area included: 94 units on Little King Street; 186 units at 88 Spanish Town Road; 256 units in Trench Town; 48 units in Monaltrie; 344 units on Block J, Denham Town; and 248 units at 231 Spanish Town Road.

The programme was discontinued by the previous administration.

Contact Andrea Braham