Ministers of Housing and Urbanisation and other Government representatives from the region are participating in the 18th General Assembly of Ministers and High Level Authorities on Housing and Urbanisation (MINURVI) in Latin America and the Caribbean which began yesterday (July 16) at the Rose Hall Resort and Country Club, Montego Bay, St. James.
Activities are being carried out under the themes, “Financing social housing in view of the world economic crisis” and “Housing in risky situations.”
Ministers of Housing and Urbanisation in the Region considered that many benefits could be derived from the sharing of information and experiences, particularly in the development of human settlement policies. This will therefore be the focus of the three-day conference.
In giving the main address at the official opening ceremony, Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Hon. Bruce Golding, said that the provision of shelter must be seen by Government not as an act, but as a process.
Members of the Rhythm and Moves Dance Group performing at the Opening Ceremony of the 18th General Assembly of Ministers and High Level Authorities on Housing and Urbanisation in Latin America and the Caribbean, at the Rose Hall Resort and Country Club in Montego Bay St. James on Thursday (July 16).
“The dream of everybody is to live in a decent house. But how do you provide housing for people who cannot afford housing? I believe that we have to see the provision of housing or shelter, not as an act but as a process,” he said.
“Incremental housing is the way that we will have to tackle the problem of housing for the poor,” Mr. Golding suggested.
He said that the region has not come to terms with housing the poor in urban areas, where some of these options are not opened to them. But, he believed there is sufficient creativity among people in the region to tackle the problem, as it is not peculiar to Jamaica.
He reiterated that the approach must be incremental, where Government can say, “take your time and build your house and we will take our time and provide the services for you.’
Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Hon. Bruce Golding (seated third Left in front row) poses for photographs with Ministers and High level Authorities during the Opening Ceremony of the 18th General Assembly of Ministers and High Level Authorities on Housing and Urbanisation in Latin America and the Caribbean, at the Rose Hall Resort and Country Club in Montego Bay, St. James on Thursday (July 16).
“We are going to have to be prepared to enter into a partnership with these persons to work with them. You are going to have to commit yourselves that over a period of time we would upgrade as the resources become available, and as the people improve on their housing structures,” Mr. Golding pointed out.
He challenged participants to bring to the fore the issue of the enormous experiences gathered, the various points of successes that have been achieved throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and put them together to find more solutions to the problems of shelter and poverty that affect the region.