JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Speaking at the handing over of a social housing unit in Farm Pen, St. Mary, on July 16, Mr. Holness said he is cautioning against very quick responses from the Fund, as requests must meet accountable standards.
  • “It doesn’t mean that you will get benefits any quicker, even though we are attempting to ensure that it is done, but we will be able to guarantee that the resources that are allocated will be efficiently spent,” the Prime Minister said.
  • For his part, Member of Parliament for Western St. Mary, Hon. Robert Montague, told the gathering that the needs of the beneficiary of the three-bedroom unit, Dawnette Henry, were well know, and he and the community were happy for her.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government has spent much time improving the systems and the processes of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Speaking at the handing over of a social housing unit in Farm Pen, St. Mary, on July 16, Mr. Holness said he is cautioning against very quick responses from the Fund, as requests must meet accountable standards.

“I have spent, personally, time ensuring that (it) meets all the public accountability standards,” he emphasised.

The Prime Minister also said that the CDF  is to undergo further reforms and improvement.

He noted that the reform measures ensure that the CDF operates under strict guidelines of accountability, and can stand up to probes and that  the last assessment was a “good review.”

“It doesn’t mean that you will get benefits any quicker, even though we are attempting to ensure that it is done, but we will be able to guarantee that the resources that are allocated will be efficiently spent,” the Prime Minister said.

Meanwhile, he pointed out that the Government is looking at adjusting the social housing programme, which allocates over 300 houses to needy persons across the island annually through their Members of Parliament, with a view to providing grants for housing improvement, where it is more applicable.

“We will try to work out a proper balance, depending on the type of constituency, as to whether or not we can shift some of the allocations away from the actual building of a unit, and providing some of the grants for social housing improvements,” Mr. Holness said.

The Prime Minister said there should not be any detraction from the programme, and the “transformational” impact that it is having on communities and lives.

The social housing programme was conceptualised by Mr. Holness in 2018, and is administered under the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) initiative.

For his part, Member of Parliament for Western St. Mary, Hon. Robert Montague, told the gathering that the needs of the beneficiary of the three-bedroom unit, Dawnette Henry, were well know, and he and the community were happy for her.

Ms. Henry told JIS News that prior to the new dwelling, she was not happy, but now she is rejoicing and is very thankful.

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