JIS News

The National Housing Trust’s (NHT) Best Schemes Competition 2010/11 was launched last week in Longville Park, Clarendon.
The competition, now in its 17th year, is open to all NHT housing schemes across the island and provides an opportunity for communities to showcase what they have achieved in the areas of culture, health, education, environmental awareness and governance.
Participating communities are required to implement activities, which solve community needs; demonstrate collective action to address community issues; and highlight the positives of their physical and human resources as well as the strength of governance structures that have contributed to harmonious community living.
Longville Park won the 2007/08 competition and President of the citizen’s association, Arleen Samuels, credited the victory to hard work, dedication, determination and good governance, along with team work and community spirit.
She said that the community was grateful for the $1 million top prize, plus the additional $200,000 for emerging as the region one winner.
“We were able to pay outstanding bills, upgrade the community complex and refurbish a room for our information technology centre. This impacted on the community’s development on education and communications through the internet,” she informed.
Mrs. Samuels encouraged other communities to get organised and enter the competition. “I am challenging the other communities to (enter). It will certainly contribute to making a stronger, more self-sustained and organised country. I implore you fellow communities to strive for the title, hold it as long as you can and let us one by one, contribute to make Jamaica a safe and more desired society. Let us be proud of what we have and take care of our communities,” she said.
Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for South West Clarendon, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, said that Longville Park is being developed as a model community that “everybody of Jamaican citizenry can be proud of.”
He emphasised that the watch word in Longville Park is community. “We have no place for idlers. We are going places and if you want you can come with us but we are not going to let you hold us back.”
The Best Scheme Competition was introduced in 1993, as an incentive for residents in NHT schemes to improve the quality of life in their communities.
The aim is to build civic pride and communities are awarded for their efforts to contribute to their own growth and development through projects focusing on the environment, culture, health, education and governance. Communities are also assessed according to the extent to which they are up-to-date with their mortgage payments.
Communities vie for prizes at the parish, regional and national levels of the competition.

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