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Managing Director of the National Housing Trust (NHT), Earl Samuels has said that the organization would be moving with some urgency to tackle the housing needs in the parish of Hanover, particularly in light of new hotel developments now taking place.
“Over the next five years, the NHT will be promoting the addition of some 7,500 new solutions to the housing stock in the parish,” he said.
Mr. Samuels was addressing an Investment Forum for the parish of Hanover, held recently at the Grand Lido Hotel in Negril.
According to Mr. Samuels, a demand survey carried out by the NHT with regard to housing needs in Hanover revealed that there were three preferred areas for housing developments in the parish – Point, Green Island and Cousins Cove.
He pointed out that the NHT owned approximately 400 acres of land in the Point area, and had recently acquired an additional 700 acres from the National Housing Development Corporation (NHDC) in that same area. “Combined, we have some 1,100 acres in that area, which is now being planned for a comprehensive housing development,” he added.
The Point area is also where the Spanish hotel group, Fiesta, plans to build a 2,000-room hotel on approximately 200 acres of land at a cost of US$150 million. Construction of that hotel is expected to begin by January 2006 and is scheduled to take 14 months to complete, with over 2,000 individuals expected to be permanently employed.
Mr. Samuels said that the NHT was planning to provide approximately 2,800 housing solutions in the Point area in three to four years. He said that the development would take place in phases.
For Cousins Cove, the Managing Director said the NHT had some 700 acres of land in Spring Valley, and that 2,800 housing solutions would be developed by the NHT in that area.
He said that the NHT was now in negotiations to acquire 137 acres on a property known as Parbucle, which was in close proximity to Green Island, another preferred area.
Mr. Samuels extended an invitation to private sector developers to partner with the NHT in some of these developments.
“The NHT stands ready and we are prepared to offer development financing, and then to offer long term financing to the potential purchasers of these units. We provide development financing at 8 per cent and long term financing to the potential purchasers at two to nine per cent,” he stated.
He encouraged all self employed persons in Hanover to start contributing to the NHT, emphasizing that only as contributors would they be able to access the available low cost funding.