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Public invited to consult on proposed amendments to Rent Restriction Act

Saturday, May 19, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The public is being invited to participate in a series of consultations on the proposed amendments to the Rent Restriction Act.

The Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation is taking steps to implement the amendments to strengthen existing provisions in order to address challenges in the renting industry.

The consultations, which began on May 15, will run until June 20.

Senior Director of the Housing Policy, Research and Monitoring Branch of the Ministry, Paula Parkes, addressing a JIS Think Tank yesterday, said the consultations are the first step in the process to amend the Act.

“This is very critical as it affects everybody. We are interested in getting persons feedback, recommendations, and opinions on what they think of the amendments of the law that will affect them,” she said.

The first consultation session was held at the Portmore Heart Academy in St Catherine on Tuesday.

The next session will be held at the Harbour View Primary School in St Andrew on May 22 at 6:00 pm. This will be followed by a session at the University of the West Indies, Western Campus in Montego Bay on May 25 at 6:00 pm and one at the St Gabriel's Anglican Church in May Pen on May 30 at 4:00 pm.

On May 31, the session will be held at the Mandeville Parish Church in Manchester at 3 p.m and on June 5, it will be held at the Boulevard Baptist Church in St. Andrew at 5:00 pm. Another session will be held on June 7 at the University of Technology.

Following the consultations, a committee will be formed to review the recommendations. Drafting instructions will then be issued to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel.

Parkes said the instructions are to be submitted to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel by the end of the year.

Chairman of the Rent Assessment Board, Rose Bennett-Cooper, said the intention is to ensure members of the public who will be affected by the legislation are involved in the process.

“To the extent that you or your family member may be a tenant or landlord, it is important that you consider the implications of this law, how it's going to affect you, your family, your neighbourhood and come out and let your voice be a part of this process and let your perspectives be a part of the decisions taken,” she said.

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