The Full Story
Government representatives from Tobago are currently in the island to observe Jamaica’s New Social Housing Programme (NSHP), with a view to adopting the initiative.
Secretary for Settlements, Public Utilities and Rural Development in the Tobago House of Assembly, Ian Pollard and Social Intervention Officer, Jimmy Sylvester, who have been in the island since last Friday (November 4), attended the ceremony.
“That you’re here to observe what Jamaica is doing, says quite a bit about the programme,” Mr. Holness said.
Noting the role of Members of Parliament (MPs) in the selection of NSHP recipients in Jamaica, he told the Trinidadian officials that they may consider including a similar element in their own programme.
He explained that the programme assists the MPs to fulfil their roles as advocates, pointing out that the final selection is made by the oversight committee in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
The Prime Minister said that community members have been “widely receptive” of the programme and the selected beneficiaries.
“I have not gone to any community where the houses are built and detected any dissatisfaction with the beneficiaries. The people in the area are all very happy for the beneficiary and they all agree that the [person] is deserving,” he noted.
After observing the handover of a beautiful two-bedroom unit to Jordeen Mason and her mother, Joan Douglas, Mr. Pollard told JIS News that “this is heart [warming]. It’s nice to see what the Prime Minister is doing… . I applaud the Government [of Jamaica] for their efforts”.
Ms. Sylvester, for her part, said: “It’s a really good initiative when you’re looking at indigent housing and persons being given a home. I mean, if your basic need of shelter is being met, that’s a very good thing.”
She said that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago also has “a lot of persons living in subsidised homes” and explained that what drew the team to Jamaica and the NSHP, was, to an extent, the cost of the units.
She noted that the approximately $6-million cost to build a home “is a pretty low and decent sum”.
The Trinidadians will meet with the principals of the NSHP and representatives from the National Housing Trust (NHT) before concluding their one-week visit.
A total of six units were handed over on Thursday by the Prime Minister, including a second dwelling in Kellits and four others in Cotton Piece, Forte Street, Gordon Pen and Brunswick Avenue in St. Catherine.
The NSHP was established in 2018 by Prime Minister Holness. It is the housing component of the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme, and is being implemented through the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
The initiative aims to improve the housing condition of the country’s most needy citizens.