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The housing project, being undertaken by the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) and Food for the Poor, has been temporarily adjusted to focus on those, who have lost their homes due to the passage of Hurricane Sandy.

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This was disclosed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller on Tuesday, during a statement in the House of Representatives.

She was giving an update on the activities within the various sectors and the Government of Jamaica’s response to families and households, who have suffered loss and dislocation.

She stated that before any unit is constructed, both government officials and Food for the Poor will have to be satisfied that the beneficiary has legal access to the plot of land on which building will take place.

“Specific attention will be paid by the Ministry of Housing to ensure that proper building standards are observed and to ensure the suitability of the locations where these units will be placed,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.    

She assured that t  he government’s commitment under JEEP, to provide approximately 20 Food for the Poor units to beneficiaries in each constituency, will be kept. 

The Prime Minister also announced that vouchers valued at $60,000 will be provided to affected persons whose houses were severely damaged, while those with minor damage will receive $30,000.

Based on preliminary estimates from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, over 4,000 homes have been damaged by the passage of Sandy.

Of this number, approximately 365 homes were totally devastated, some 2, 797 homes were severely damaged and a further 2271 had minor damage. The most severe damage was concentrated in the parishes of St. Thomas, Portland and St. Mary.