The National Housing Trust (NHT) will break ground today for work on phase four of a multi-million housing development in Hellshire, St Catherine slated to add some 400 units to the Portmore housing stock.
According to the NHT, construction work will commence with phase four of the housing project with phases two and three following at a later date. Hellshire Park Estate phase four is scheduled for completion in August 2013.
The NHT has been drafting plans for the development of three additional phases in the Hellshire community. Phases two and three are still in the planning stages, it said.
Two- and three-bedroom units, as well as serviced lots, will be offered to NHT contributors once construction is complete next August, representatives of the trust told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
However, they were unable to give projected selling prices of the Hellshire Estate phase four houses. Nor were the expected construction costs revealed.
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, who has direct responsibility for the NHT, is expected to be guest speaker at the ground breaking.
NHT's involvement in the Hellshire area began in 1978. At that time, the trust, in partnership with the Urban Development Corporation which owns the majority of Hellshire lands, sold houses and apartments to contributors from the area.
In 1993, the NHT partnered with the then Workers Savings and Loans Bank to offer housing at the Upper Fort B scheme to public-sector workers. "Soldiers, teachers and other government workers were given the opportunity to purchase at the time".
Then in 2001, the Trust developed Hellshire Park Estate, located beyond the round-about leading to the Hellshire fishing beach, offering units for sale to all NHT contributors.
When the entire Hellshire development (Phases two, three and four) is complete, the NHT will have brought over 400 homes to market in the area, it said.
Portmore, which was established in the 1960s, is the fastest growing city in the island with approximately 190,000 residents spread across 82 communities, according to a Social Development Commission 2004 survey.
Regarded as a dormitory community in earlier years, Portmore, by virtue of increased housing and a growing population, has spurred widespread commercial activity with businesses seeking to capitalise on a ready market.
The state run NHT, in collaboration with private housing developers, especially West Indies Home Contractors, is integral in the development of the Portmore area.