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MONTEGO BAY – Residents, who occupy housing lots in the Whitehall phase one housing development in Westmoreland, were presented with their titles on Friday (Nov. 23), by Minister with responsibility for Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy.

More than 500 lots are available in the development, which was originally earmarked for hotel workers in the 1980's.  The Government started the project under Operation PRIDE in the early 1990's, and has decided to hand over the titles to owners for nominal fees ranging from $25,000 to $300,000.

Minister Guy, in addressing the title handing over ceremony held at the Whitehall Early Childhood Institution, said he was pleased with the project.

"I am impressed with the level of work being done. What I see at Whitehall is something that every recipient here, and those who are not here, ought to be proud off. It is a wonderful development," he stated.

He challenged the residents to take charge of the community. "Let us be the ones in charge and not others. I am talking about the criminals creeping in and taking charge. At the end, let us have a community that everyone can be proud of," he urged.

The Minister said he has mandated the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) to institute a competition among the various Operation Pride housing schemes, aimed at fostering civic pride. Such as competition, he argued, could encourage residents to always work to keep their communities in top shape, while they vie for prizes.

"Let us see, of these communities, which one can vie for a prize from the Housing Agency of Jamaica, because, what we are talking about is not only national development, but personal and civic development as well," he stated.

The Whitehall development is a three phase project, with more than 2,000 houses to be provided at the end of the undertaking.  A total of 512 housing lots are available in phase 1, while 24 lots are earmarked for commercial activities.

Member of Parliament for Western Westmoreland, Dr. Wykeham McNeil, who is also Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, informed that funding is now in place for the completion of the playfield, and community centre.