JIS News

The National Housing Trust (NHT) plans to spend $10 billion on housing this year, of which $2.3 Billion will be spent on the Inner City Housing Project.This project includes refurbishment of existing units, which were in various stages of disrepair; and the construction of up to 5,000 units.This was announced today by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson during his contribution to the 2004/05 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives.
With regards to the Refurbishment Programme Prime Minister Patterson said work is on target for completion in a number of constituencies.For the new units, Mr. Patterson pointed out that three sites were now being cleared for construction – Little King Street in Denham Town (136 units); Spanish Town Road (190 units); and Trench Town (250 units).
He said the groundbreaking ceremonies would take place next month simultaneously in the three constituencies.
The Prime Minister added that during this year, planning and land acquisition for other communities would also take place. As such, tenders for the Port Maria and Savanna-la-Mar projects would be prepared.
He commended the active involvement, support and leadership being provided by Members of Parliament, and Councillors in the inner city communities, as well as representatives of the Churches and Non Government Organizations to the project, which he said is intended to achieve a major transformation in the lives of inner city residents adding that skills training is being provided by the HEART TRUST/NTA.In other developments for the year, the Prime Minister said the NHT planned to provide approximately 23,000 housing solutions under its regular programmes across nine parishes. These include Bernard Lodge and Worthy Park,St. Catherine; Nashville, St. Mary; Green Pond II, St. Thomas; Waterworks, Westmoreland; Winchester Mews, Hanover; and Long Pond, Trelawny.Mr. Patterson also noted that several parcels of land were being acquired to provide affordable units for the middle-income market, primarily young professionals in the Corporate Area and other urban centres.
Turning to an earlier announcement by Industry and Tourism Minister, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba in her budget presentation last week on the matter of housing for workers in the tourism sector, the Prime Minister emphasised that the development was “vitally necessary to complement the significant expansion of rooms projected and primarily in Hanover, St. James, Trelawny and St. Ann.”
He informed that the Trust had already acquired or was in the process of acquiring approximately 920 hectares (2,300 acres) of land for this programme in St. James, Hanover, St. Mary, St. Ann, Portland, and Trelawny.
Mr. Patterson said for a number of the sites already acquired, the planning process was advanced and construction was scheduled to begin during the current fiscal year.
The Prime Minister noted that under the Relocation 2000 programme, the NHT was now finalizing negotiations for the acquisition of land for the relocation of squatters at Mona Commons.During the past fiscal year, the NHT expended $5.3 billion and provided some 2,300 completed solutions, 1,208 scheme solutions, 1,085 Build-On-Own Land solutions and Home Improvement completions, and 7,053 new mortgage loans.

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