JIS News

The first draft of the National Housing Policy and Implementation Plan, which contains the critical strategies to deliver at least 10,000 new housing solutions for Jamaicans by the 2010/2011 financial year, was presented to the Ministry of Water and Housing on February 2.
The plan is being crafted by a group of experts from two of the island’s major universities, the University of the West Indies and the University of Technology (UTech).
Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang, last year signed a $21.6 million contract with UTech, to engage a team of experts to develop the policy, which will provide a framework for providing shelter solutions for Jamaicans.
The plan comes on the heels of several other initiatives within the Ministry, including the provision of titles to residents from communities all over the island, and fact finding tours to various locations aimed at locating adequate sites for housing.
This first draft of the policy is to be analysed by a Technical Review Committee, made up of representatives of private sector institutions and public bodies such as the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Urban Development Corporation (UDC), National Housing Trust (NHT), and other regulatory agencies and officials within the Ministry.
This analysis will be followed by a series of consultations in Kingston, St. Andrew and Montego Bay, St. James, to gain the opinions of other stakeholders and the general public.
The public consultations will begin in early March in Kingston, followed by Montego Bay later in the month.
Speaking in Parliament in June last year, Minister Chang told the nation that the Housing Policy is expected to address several issues such as housing supply and demand, affordability, financing, investment, access to land, squatting, social housing and public-private partnerships.

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