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Minister of Labour and Social Security, Derrick Kellier, has said that the National Housing Trust (NHT) would be assisting poor senior citizens to acquire their own homes. He pointed out that for this year, the NHT would be spending some $150 million to provide the opportunities for senior citizens who are too poor to own their own homes.
“Government will be paying special attention to creating opportunities for the poor and the elderly. to own a house of their own and so live in dignity in their old age,” Mr. Kellier said.
The Minister was addressing the 30th anniversary church service of the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC), held at Kings Chapel Pentecostal Church in Montego Bay, yesterday (May 14).
Several senior citizens from the western parishes participated in the church service, which marked the commencement of activities to celebrate Council’s 30th anniversary under the theme: ‘Empowering seniors for national development’.
Mr. Kellier pointed out that the seniors were fountains of wisdom and their experiences could serve to strengthen their confidence and sustain their faith that, “God always delivers”.
He explained that the 1997 National Policy for Senior Citizens signalled Government’s commitment to ensuring that the elderly are enabled to continue making meaningful contributions to Jamaica’s development.
“September each year is being observed as Senior Citizens’ Month and activities planned for this year are aimed at reminding the nation of the contributions of our senior citizens, and also to underscore the fact that life does not end at the beginning of the senior years,” the Minister said. “I would like to commend the National Council for Senior Citizens for its 30 years of advocacy on behalf of senior citizens and the tremendous work it has done over these many years, such as the implementation of the NI Gold Health Scheme, the National Health Fund, the Jamaica Drug for the Elderly Programme, among others,” Mr. Kellier noted.
He pledged to work closely with the Council to further advance the interest of senior citizens.