By Caribbean News Global contributor
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The government of Jamaica is expected to complete another 114 houses under the National Social Housing Programme for the 2020/2021 financial year at an estimated value of $1.17 billion.
“As of January 31, 2021, a total of 15 housing units have been completed under the programme. A total of 290 applications were received from members of parliament across 58 constituencies. Of the 290 applications received, 213 have been approved by the New Social Housing Project Oversight Committee (POC). Currently, there are 28 active construction projects and they range from between five percent completion to 99 percent completion,” said prime minister Holness.
Prime minister Holness noted that even though the programme is designed to bring hope to citizens who are unable to afford solutions, he hopes this intervention will help to spark interest in the investment by others in the community to build likewise.
“This is not a sustainable solution if it is that we are talking about replicating these kinds of houses right across the country for low-income persons. However, the idea behind this project is to intervene in situations where we can identify an indigent person or a housing situation that is going to have an impact on a significant number of persons, such as a large family,” said prime minister Holness.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony of National Housing Trust (NHT) service lots in Hellshire, St Catherine, February 11, the prime minister said:
“What the government is doing, is expanding the process, the system of homeownership of land ownership and we are doing it in many ways. (We are) doing it in titling by going through and regularizing persons who have occupied lands but have no titles, we are doing it through the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ); regularizing communities that were informally settled. We are doing it again by the Housing Agency; in bringing to the market affordable and low-income housing solutions and we are doing it by the NHT in providing support for the financial system for homeownership.”
A statement from the office of the prime minister (OPM) added: “The government has committed to building a minimum 70,000 housing starts with 10,000 promised to persons under the age of 30 during the current term of the administration.
“On social equity, it is not enough for the government to say illegal settlement must end. We must provide you with the means by which you can own a piece of the rock legitimately,” said prime minister Holness. Every Jamaican I know, want to own a house and drive a ‘big’ car. That is what you call middle-class values and this government is committed to providing the mechanisms, the solutions, the pathway for every single Jamaican, whether you born poor or rich to fulfill your dreams; and housing is a part of it.”