JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government is set to launch Phase Two of the UN Habitat’s Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP 2).
  • The programme, which is being implemented in three phases, is intended to help in improving the living conditions of the urban poor and contribute to the Millennium Development Goals as it relates to poverty reduction targets.
  • In particular, the PSUP responds to the targets to significantly improve the lives of slum dwellers.

The Government is set to launch Phase Two of the UN Habitat’s Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP 2).

The programme, which is being implemented in three phases, is intended to help in improving the living conditions of the urban poor and contribute to the Millennium Development Goals as it relates to poverty reduction targets.

In particular, the PSUP responds to the targets to significantly improve the lives of slum dwellers.

Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on January 21, Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Mrs. Doreen Prendergast, explained that the programme is a response to the challenges presented by urban drift.

“We are facing some serious challenges with rural-urban migration and we have a challenge in terms of the number of housing stocks that are available. This has led to some form of informal settlement development, and as such we have quite a number of squatter settlements all around the country, with a high concentration in some of our urban areas. As such, the PSUP is intended to address some of these challenges in a more sustainable way,” she explained.

“The aim of the programme is to establish partnerships in bringing about remedial actions and finding solutions to many of the challenges faced in these informal settlements,” Mrs. Prendergast added.

She noted that it is also expected that the programme will build the capacity of persons at various levels, especially at the community level, utilising a methodology called Participatory Action Planning (PAP), “which is what phase 2 of the programme is largely seeking to achieve.”

The Chief Technical Director explained that the programme is also seeking to assist with the formulation of regulations and policies within the Ministry that can be used over time, as a tool to facilitate slum upgrading.

The PSUP is being implemented in three towns, Old Harbour/Old Harbour Bay, May Pen and Montego Bay.

Mrs. Prendergast pointed out that the towns chosen are based on the fact that outside of the Corporate Area, these towns have had the largest increases in terms of population growth and that the pervasiveness of squatter settlements was also a factor in the decision.

Other qualifying factors identified by Mrs. Prenderdgast are embedded in the UN Habitat’s definition of slums that outline limited space, inadequate access to water, inadequate access to sanitation, insecurity of tenure and the non-durability of housing.

Phase Two of the project under which the PAP will be mobilized will last from January to September 2015. Following consultations from phases 1 and 2, one community will be selected as the Slum Upgrade pilot project for Phase 3.

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