MANDEVILLE — Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says plans are underway to upgrade two informal communities in South Clarendon, to provide land tenure for the residents and to provide housing solutions for working people in the parish.
The Minister, who toured the area on June 15, with officials of the Ministry and Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, Member of Parliament for South East Clarendon, informed that the communities are Rasta Corner and Unity Farm, near Free Town in the parish.
“We will be putting in infrastructure – road, water, light and waste water collection. We also want to develop the additional lands, so we can provide more housing for the working people of the May Pen area. These people have been here for some time. They are working people, they are skilled in the area of craft, and the settlement will also provide for an area to develop the craft business,” the Minister said of the Rasta Corner community.
Dr. Chang further informed that the Unity Farm community has about 1,000 families, and while he is not condoning the manner in which the community got started, the policy of the Government is to put a lid on the informal setting up of communities, while upgrading the existing ones, and creating housing solutions for other persons who can afford to purchase homes or lands to develop their homes.
“We are looking at how we can proceed in terms of establishing proper titling for the property, and we are working with various agencies of Government to bring stability and order. It will be operated on an upgraded programme where we bring in infrastructure and allow them to pay over time. We have a responsibility to seek to provide the kind of facility that is the norm for any community,” the Minister said.
Dr. Chang also visited the New Bowens community in the parish where there is flooding when it rains heavily.
During the tour the Minister urged residents not to allow persons to encroach on lands that they don’t own, as it will contribute to delays in the Government’s effort to speed up the upgrading process.
By GARFIELD L. ANGUS, JIS Reporter