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PM says gov't will build more affordable housing solutions

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Prime Minister Andrew Holness, says the Government is working to build more affordable housing solutions for Jamaicans as part of a strategy to deal with informal settlements.

“The squatter problem is not only a function of the unavailability of land; it is really a function of the lack of housing solutions being provided by the formal market. We will solve the squatting problem, because we will build enough houses to meet the demand that is generated yearly,” the prime minister said.

He was speaking at a ceremony, today to break ground for the construction of 230 housing units as part of the Foreshore Estate development in Delacree Pen, South West St Andrew.

Holness noted that while there is a backlog in housing demand, the Government's strategy is to clear it, “and then we will build enough housing solutions every year to ensure that the market for housing clears and you will not have a squatting problem”.

The prime minister argued that the problem cannot be solved by “giving away houses”, but instead giving persons the ability to own their own home.

“To own the home means you have a stake in ensuring that the community develops and remains of high standard (and) that you have an asset there to protect,” he said.

Holness stressed that housing is a right of every Jamaican, and the Government is working to provide affordable, high-quality housing solutions through the National Housing Trust (NHT), in partnership with private developers.

“We are expecting to build 22,000 housing solutions by 2021, using this model of partnership between the NHT, housing developers and communities,” the prime minister said.

In the meantime, Holness congratulated the principals of the company undertaking the new housing development (World Homes Jamaica Limited), Executive Chairman, Edward Lai; and President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), William Lai, for partnering with the Government, through the NHT, on the project.

The NHT is providing financing for the construction as well as mortgages for purchasers.

Also praising the developers for the affordable housing solutions was Member of Parliament for the area, Dr Angela Brown Burke.

Meanwhile, Lai informed that this is the first of 10,000 low-income housing solutions the company intends to undertake across the island.

The Foreshore Estate development will be a gated community located on 14 acres of land.

The prices for the units range from $3.25 million to $5.35 million. They include one-storey starter studios and starter one-bedroom houses; one-bedroom two-storey quad and duplex townhouses; and two-bedroom two-storey quad and duplex townhouses.

The main entry will be from Marcus Garvey Drive with security guard support. The gated community will include amenities for the residents, such as a playground for children, open recreational green spaces, basketball court, jogging/walking paths and a new basic school. There will also be adequate shared parking spaces as well as infrastructure to facilitate environmentally friendly water drainage.

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