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Gov’t and Food for the Poor to provide 9,000 homes

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 | 2:43 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Government has partnered with Food for the Poor to provide 9,000 housing solutions over the next five years for low-income earners across the island.

A total of 1,800 structures are to be provided per year, and a contract for construction of the first 1, 200 wooden houses and 600 concrete units was signed at the Ministry of Housing yesterday.

The houses will be built under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) with management from the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ), housing minister Omar Davies said.

Work will begin in two weeks and continue over the next twelve months.

The government’s contribution to the project will be funded through a $500 million grant from the Petro Caribe Development Fund, Davies said.

Construction of the wooden dwellings will cost approximately US$6,400 ($567,000) per unit, with the government providing US$3, 200 for each unit, and Food for the Poor matching that amount.

Erection of the concrete structures is projected to cost approximately US$9,500 each.

Under the agreement, Food for the Poor will work with the HAJ to construct the 600 concrete units, which will be sold on the open market by the National Housing Trust using its priority index system for the selection of beneficiaries.

The 1, 200 wooden houses will be built by Food for the Poor and will be distributed island-wide free of cost. Beneficiaries will be drawn from the organization's existing list of applicants, as well as from persons recommended by members of parliament, councillors, churches and community groups.

The houses will be built on lands provided by the government or those owned or accessed by the beneficiaries.

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