JIS News

Twenty-three low income families of the Bernard Lodge division of the Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ), have received keys to new homes in the Phoenix Park housing development in Spanish Town, St. Catherine.
The keys to the wooden two-room houses, renamed the Eileen Mary Village, were handed over at an official ceremony held yesterday (April 25) at the site.
The scheme was developed at a cost of approximately $15 million, jointly funded by the Sugar Company of Jamaica; David and Eileen Price, Directors of Food for the Poor in Florida; and Food for the Poor, Incorporated.
Situated on some 3.29 acres of land, which was donated by the SCJ, the development consists of 28 two-room houses, 14 single rooms, 40 bathrooms housed in four sanitation buildings, three communal kitchens and 11 small shops along the southern edge of the complex.
Speaking at the ceremony, State Minister in the Ministry of Housing, Transport and Works, Richard Azan thanked the donors for their contribution in making the project a reality.
He encouraged the recipients to maintain a clean, healthy environment to prevent the spread of diseases and to refrain from putting up additional rooms or zinc fences. He also urged that a maintenance committee be set up to ensure that the complex was kept clean.
“What I would like to see here is love and peace for your brothers and sisters.We should have peace each day. Show the love, and care for your brothers and sisters,” he told the residents.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Food for the Poor Incorporated, Robin Mahfood appealed for land to build houses. “We cannot build homes unless we have good land,” he said, noting that Food for the Poor was committed to building some 3,000 houses per year in Jamaica.
According to Mr. Mahfood, some 781 houses have been built in Jamaica this year, and it is hoped that a total of 3,000 would be built by year end. He said the organization has so far built 3,425 houses in 16 countries.
He congratulated David and Eileen Price for their “great generosity” to the people of Jamaica. He said a lot of people would have taken the money and bought a boat or another property on the north coast of Jamaica. “But they decided it was more important to do what they are doing and I congratulate them,” he added.
Among those in attendance were beneficiaries and their families, staff of the SCJ and Food for the Poor, Mayor of Spanish Town, Dr. Andrew Wheatley; Member of Parliament for Southern St. Catherine, Fitz Jackson and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, SCJ, Livingstone Morrison.

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