JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing says that several options are being looked at to address Jamaica’s growing housing needs.
  • Chief Technical Director for Housing in the Ministry, Doreen Prendergast, said that some of the solutions that are being considered are: “providing incentives to developers, and getting persons to consider renting [as] everyone will not be able to own a home.”
  • The recommendations came following a recent Caribbean Association of Housing Finance Institution (CASHFI) Conference that was held earlier this month.

The Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing says that several options are being looked at to address Jamaica’s growing housing needs.

In an interview with JIS News, Chief Technical Director for Housing in the Ministry, Doreen Prendergast, said that some of the solutions that are being considered are: “providing incentives to developers, and getting persons to consider renting [as] everyone will not be able to own a home.”

As part of the Ministry’s Joint Venture Programme, public/private partnerships with greater responsibility are also being encouraged.

“We do think that they can work, but we have to ensure that whoever we are partnering with, have some stake in the process, and that they bring some collateral to the table,” said Mrs. Prendergast.

She added that this suggestion is due to issues in the past, “where persons came and utilized government lands and they never had a real stake in the process and at the end of the project, they stepped away [when] there were challenges.”

The recommendations came following a recent Caribbean Association of Housing Finance Institution (CASHFI) Conference that was held earlier this month.

The conference provided the Ministry with an opportunity to assess the state of the housing sector, to look at the challenges and the policy measures. It also provided an opportunity to be exposed to best practices.

Data from the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) reveals that just over 4,000 housing units are being generated annually. However, a projection done by the Ministry in 2001 indicated that over 13,000 units are needed annually to address the housing deficit.

Mrs. Prendergast informed that a draft National Housing Policy has been prepared by a University of Technology/Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies (UTech/SALISES) team.

That draft is now being revised by the Ministry, with expectation that it will be tabled in Parliament early next year.