JIS News

Approximately 45 workers in the sugar industry in Clarendon have received their letters of possession for lots of land in the Rowington Park scheme in that parish. The certificates were handed over by the National Housing Trust (NHT) on Thursday (Sept. 25) at a ceremony held at Rowington Park in the parish.
Speaking at the ceremony, Managing Director of the NHT, Earl Samuels said that 78 lots and one studio unit were available in the scheme, noting that all the necessary infrastructure, including electricity, water, roads and a sewage system were in place.
“You the workers at New Yarmouth have made a significant step on the road to home ownership. In many respects you are miles ahead of the average man who goes out looking for a piece of land and negotiates on his own to buy it. You have all the infrastructure of a 21st century development right here on this property,” he stressed.
He explained that the lots ranged in prices from $350,000 to $395,000, substantially below the $530,000 to $600,000 price range for typical housing schemes, and had been subsidised by the NHT at a cost of between $180,000 to $205,000.
Mr. Samuels informed that the Rowington scheme was the second in nine projects to be carried out on estate lands across the island, with some 19 lots and one studio unit completed in Bellrock in St. Thomas.
He added that very soon, workers at Monymusk in Clarendon would access some 591 service lots, and those in Appleton in St. Elizabeth would also benefit from 212 service lots, which were 93 per cent and 92 per cent complete, respectively.
Other schemes, which are in various stages of completion, he said, include 262 lots in Chiswick, St. Thomas; 420 lots in Long Pond, Trelawny; 557 lots in Frome, Westmoreland; 420 lots in Hampden, Trelawny; 492 lots in Bernard Lodge, and 35 lots in Worthy Park both in St. Catherine.
Mr. Samuels said that in 2000 an agreement between the NHT, nine sugar estates and three trade unions was signed, whereby workers would access service lots over a five-year period.
The service lots have been developed for sugar workers and at the end of the project, some 5,000 workers across the island will have a place of their own.
Minister of Water and Housing, Donald Buchanan, in his remarks, pointed out that through the efforts of the government between 1991 and 2001, over 154,000 housing solutions had been constructed.
“We are providing opportunities for more Jamaicans to own their own homes at a faster rate than ever in the history of independent Jamaica,” he said.
He also mentioned that opportunities to own a home have been created through other programmes such as Operation PRIDE where some 30,000 housing solutions have been provided in some 121 communities across Jamaica.
This, he said, was in addition to another 4,000 housing solutions under the Joint Venture Programme. According to Minister Buchanan, 5,300 such houses are under construction and another 4,000 are to be built through the Joint Venture Programme.

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