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Story Highlights

  • Persons are expected to move into their new houses at the Bernard Lodge Estate Development in St. Catherine, by July 2014.
  • The initial plan of the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) was to hand over the first set of 350 units at the end of this month.
  • The Minister said, "The main reason for the delay is that significant changes have had to be made to the design of a storm water drain for the development."

Persons are expected to move into their new houses at the Bernard Lodge Estate Development in St. Catherine, by July 2014.

Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, made the announcement during the sitting of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, March 18.

He noted that the initial plan of the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) was to hand over the first set of 350 units at the end of this month.

“The main reason for the delay is that significant changes have had to be made to the design of a storm water drain for the development. The original plans included the construction of a large drain across Highway 2000. However, that design would have led to traffic delays on the Highway and increased costs. Therefore, it was abandoned and the National Works Agency has revised the design. Work is in progress to implement the new design,” Dr. Davies said.

Additionally, he said the developer has indicated that, based on new internal arrangements in respect of their ownership structure, they have had to seek new financing arrangements for the project.

“In finalizing these arrangements, there is on-going discussion between the Housing Agency and Malphrus Incorporated. The Agency has been assured that all prior commitments will be honoured,” Dr. Davies stated.

Located in St. Catherine, the Bernard Lodge Estates development is approximately five minutes drive from Spanish Town square. It is bounded by Highway 2000 to the South, in the vicinity of Lime Tree Grove, Quarry Hill and March Pen Road.

The development will comprise 1,584 housing solutions, which will be built in five phases. Included are studios and one-bedroom units.

Each studio unit will measure 267 square feet and one bedroom unit, 370 square feet. The average lot size will be 3,300 square feet.

They will be expandable and will be outfitted with laminate countertops, stainless steel kitchen sinks, French windows and slab roofs. Phases three, four and five are slated for completion by mid-2016.

To date, 321 persons have made deposits on Phase 1, while 371 have paid their deposits in respect of Phase 2.

“I have been advised, that because of the delay in delivering the first set of units, some depositors have requested refunds of their deposits. These requests have all been honoured. It is worthy of note that the slots have been filled by new depositors. I want to assure depositors that their funds are safe and that the Government has taken all the necessary steps to ensure that there is no negative fallout, other than the rescheduled delivery date,” Dr. Davies said.

The Bernard Lodge development is a Public/Private Partnership agreement between the HAJ and Malphrus Incorporated.