MONTEGO BAY — Richmond Housing Development, comprising 250 completed three-bedroom houses, entertainment centre, swimming pool, children’s play area and 24-hour security, was officially opened on September 17 by Minister of Housing, Environment and Water, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang.
The 500-acre property, with some 100 families already occupying houses, is located near Priory, in St. Ann.
Delivering the main address, the Minister said he was pleased at the development, as more Jamaicans could have the opportunity to own a home.
He congratulated the chief developer, Lee Issa, for creating and establishing the first green housing community in Jamaica, arguing that this development is the government’s vision for the future of housing in the country.
Dr. Chang said that the development was of particular interest to him, as it represented a number of innovations by the developer.
“While the concept (green development) is new to many, it really means the development of a sustainable concept, building homes using appropriate material that seeks to be eco-friendly and this particular project has many features, as it uses solar, which brings energy savings to the country. It also has an eco-friendly sewerage treatment system and the design itself is said to be very energy-efficient in terms of the use of energy for air conditioning,” he said.
“These are the number of features which we hope will be the beginning of the new kind of development in Jamaica,” Dr. Chang noted.
He expressed the hope that with the expected lowering of interest rates, more developers would be inclined to follow the principles used at Richmond.
“One of the critical elements is that we need homes that are affordable to all Jamaicans, from the very low income to middle income earners, because when interest rates are too high, it takes out too much of the individual’s purchasing power. I have to commend the developer for making all those many innovations and for keeping the prices down,” Dr. Chang said.
He also cited initiatives by the Ministry to bring on stream additional low-income houses through joint venture partnerships, which should begin to bear some fruit this year.
By Glenis Rose, JIS Reporter