JIS News

Story Highlights

  • A total of 77 units were built in Hampden, Trelawny, as Government responded to the need for housing solutions for very low income earners.
  • The Government is also undertaking a number of projects through partnerships with the private sector.
  • The NHT also approved 165 home grants of $1.2 million each, to help lower income contributors to purchase solutions.

The housing division of the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, last year, aggressively pursued its agenda to provide more Jamaicans with access to affordable housing. The Ministry also ramped up its titling programme in the drive to give more persons economic power.

Affordable Houses For Very Low Income Earners

A total of 77 units were built in Hampden, Trelawny, as Government responded to the need for housing solutions for very low income earners.

The construction was undertaken as part of a programme, announced by Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, during the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 7, which will see Food for the Poor constructing some 600 concrete starter units annually for sale to the National Housing Trust (NHT).

The houses are to be constructed at the equivalent of US$9,500 per unit and will be made available to NHT contributors, who earn a weekly salary of between $5,000 and $7,000.

Another 25 were built in Meylersfield, Westmoreland, and the Ministry is looking for lots across the island, which can be used for such units.

Hague Residents Get Keys To New Homes

On February 5, 21 residents of Hague Settlement in Trelawny moved into their new homes, which were constructed through a joint venture between the Government and Food for the Poor.

Dr. Davies handed over the keys to the two-bedroom board units, which were built in keeping with a commitment to relocate residents of the informal area of ‘Dump’ and to provide the necessary infrastructure to create a community.

Public-Private Partnership         

The Government is also undertaking a number of projects through partnerships with the private sector. Among these is the Caymanas Country Club Estate in St. Catherine, the first phase of which opened on October 23.

The development, a partnership between New Era Homes 2000 Limited and the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), entailed the construction of 684 two and three bedroom houses by  New Era, on lands acquired from the UDC.

A total of 264 units were provided during the first segment of the project, while an additional 420 will be provided under phase two.

Longville Park Phase III

The first set of keys to beneficiaries of the $4.8 billion Longville Park Phase III Housing Scheme in Clarendon, to benefit approximately 882 families, were handed over on February 20.

Among the beneficiaries are 168 low income earners, who received subsidised rates for their units from the NHT totalling approximately $127 million; 20 young professionals, who fall between the ages of 25 and 40; and a person with disability.

The NHT also approved 165 home grants of $1.2 million each, to help lower income contributors to purchase solutions. These grants were given to persons earning a maximum of $10,000 weekly.

Tourism Workers/Young Professionals

Ground was broken in 2013 for the construction of 590 housing solutions in the Whitehall Phase 3 Housing Development in Negril, Westmoreland, at a cost of some $390 million.

Under the project, 173 studio units are to be built, and 417 serviced lots made available mainly for hotel workers, young professionals, and first time homeowners.

Pursuing The Titling Agenda

Sixty residents of Flankers and Norwood in St. James received land titles from the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) during the review period.

The handing over was part of the HAJ’s efforts to deliver full ownership of land titles to thousands of residents across the island. Also under the initiative, 24 residents of Callaloo Mews, St. Andrew, received their titles to lots which they occupy; 17 residents of Martha Brae in Trelawny received titles to their lands; while 35 residents of  Duanvale in the parish also received their documents in June.

A total of 29 residents received titles for the Barrett Hall Housing development in Rose Hall, St. James, in August.

On October 11, some 70 persons, mainly farmers of the Ebony Park Housing Scheme in Clarendon, received their titles after waiting for more than 30 years to formalize their holdings. In December, 85 residents of Gravel Heights in St. Catherine were presented with their titles.

Mortgage Write-Off

Fifty homeowners had their outstanding mortgage balances written off, and their titles officially presented to them at a ceremony held in July.

The gesture was part of the Government’s commemoration of Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence, under the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing’s Jubilee Housing initiative.

The 50 titles are among the approximately 7, 000 documents that the Ministry is pushing to have transferred within this fiscal year.

St. Mary Hurricane Victims Get New Homes

Twenty-two families in St. Mary, who were displaced following the passage of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, were provided with new homes at Crooked River in the parish by the Government, in partnership with Food for the Poor.

They were relocated from the worst affected areas along St. Mary’s coastline, including Annotto Bay, Port Maria, and their environs, where some 60 families lost their homes.

Special Housing Benefit Order for Creighton Hall Residents

Cabinet approved a special benefit order to facilitate the allocation of service lots in the Creighton Hall Housing Development in St. Thomas to specified beneficiaries.

Five lots went to the disabled; three to staff of the NHT; 21 to young adult contributors who qualify; and 10 to public sector workers including those in established bargaining units.

Cabinet also approved the compulsory acquisition of land in Leith Hall in St. Thomas for the regularisation of over 2,000 households as well as the acquisition of lots in Hannah Town, Kingston in an effort to provide titles in the subdivision for longstanding residents.