The Full Story
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Wednesday (October 25), handed over 32 new housing solutions to beneficiaries of the Shrewsbury housing development in Petersfield, Westmoreland.
The solutions, built under the National Housing Trust (NHT) Labour and Small Materials Programme (LSMP), form phase two of the project.
They comprise 58 serviced lots and 32 houses, including 14 one-bedroom units and 18 studio apartments.
Mr. Holness presented keys to 25 of the 32 beneficiaries at the official handover ceremony.
In his address, the Prime Minister indicated that seven units have been reserved for public-sector workers and persons with disabilities, emphasising the Government’s commitment to providing equitable housing opportunities for all Jamaicans.
He highlighted the inclusivity of the selection process, pointing out that of the 32 contributors chosen, 13 were female and 12 were male, representing a near-equal gender representation.
Mr. Holness further informed that 52 per cent of the selectees fall within the minimum wage income bracket of $30,000 weekly.
He said the selectees will be granted mortgage access at 0 per cent interest rate, underscoring the NHT’s dedication to enabling affordable homeownership for Jamaicans.
Mr. Holness also drew attention to the demographic distribution of the beneficiaries, noting that 72 per cent of the recipients are in the 41 to 60 age group.
The Prime Minister noted that the selected contributors reflect a diverse range of professions, with 36 per cent working in accounting, administration, and clerical fields; 24 per cent engaged in skilled services areas, and 20 per cent employed in the housekeeping and services sector, including cooks, gardeners and bartenders.
Mr. Holness expressed his elation at witnessing the realisation of the residents’ long-held homeownership aspirations.
“Let me acknowledge the beneficiaries of the Shrewsbury housing development phase two to say how happy I am that you are finally getting the opportunity to own your own home. It is always a pleasure to participate in these activities… because it is an opportunity for Jamaicans to fulfil their dreams,” he said.
The Prime Minister informed that the NHT has been making steady progress in achieving its target of developing 43,000 solutions for the housing market.
He indicated that the Trust has already identified suitable land for these 43,000 housing solutions and worked on their designs, adding that “they are now going to the approvals”.
Regarding challenges experienced by the NHT, Prime Minister Holness said there is a significant hurdle posed by the lack of adequate infrastructure.
While numerous projects are currently in the works, he acknowledged the existing gap in identifying sustainable water supply sources and an urgent need to address sewage infrastructure.
Mr. Holness emphasised that these issues have led to delays in the development process, further complicating the timely delivery of these much-needed housing solutions.
“So, there are many projects that are on the books but we have not identified water supply sources as yet; we haven’t identified the sewerage as yet and those issues elongate the development process,” he indicated.