JIS News

Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson, has announced that work would commence soon, on the construction of housing developments catering to Jamaican residents abroad, who are interested in returning home to retire.
Addressing yesterday’s (March 27) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, the Prime Minister said that the government was collaborating with the private sector for the implementation of the housing initiative, which he dubbed as ‘lifestyle villages’, adding that alliances have been forged with a number of financiers.
Mr. Patterson disclosed that already, the National Housing Trust (NHT) had acquired a 171.6 hectare-site (429-acre) at Barrett Hall in St. James, which would allow for an early start to the project.
To facilitate the project, a company has been incorporated with a share capital of one million shares “and it will be working with a number of building societies… it will also provide assistance to the project as a developer,” the Prime Minister told journalists.
He said that the overseas Jamaican community has responded positively to the project. “The response has been very enthusiastic but we also see it as offering the scope for retirement and health tourism activities,” he added.
The Prime Minister noted that the lifestyle villages would cater to retirees, “those above 50 years and over, offering communal facilities and activities, shops, restaurants, fitness centres, computer Internet centres, group activities and excursions outside of the villages. We will also be providing various healthcare facilities and services including assisted living facilities and for those who need it, special nursing care.”
According to the Prime Minister, units will be pre-sold once subdivision approval has been granted and built according to the demands of the particular customer.
“We have developed a project implementation plan,” he informed, noting that the first phase entailed the establishment of the company, the identification of shareholders and the completion of a detailed business plan.
Thereafter, he said, the second phase of the project would come on stream and this would include, designs, approvals and preparation of terms of reference for building consultants.
“Then, we will be going on the road to sell these projects and home possibilities, particularly in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, and we will then start the construction of the actual development,” Prime Minister Patterson concluded.