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Regional Housing Conference in Mobay from Oct 18 to 20

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Housing ministers, developers, policymakers and other key stakeholders from across the region will gather at the Iberostar Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay from October 18 to 20 to participate in the Regional Housing Conference 2017.

Themed 'Providing Safe, Legal and Affordable Housing for All: From Policy to Implementation', the conference will identify practical solutions and industry best practices to resolve the challenges facing the Caribbean housing sector.

Addressing a JIS 'Think Tank' yesterday, Chief Technical Director with responsibility for Water, Works and Housing in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Doreen Prendergast, said the three-day event will include presentations, workshops, plenary and breakout sessions focusing on four thematic areas.

These include housing cost and financing, building technology within a changing environment, housing and land tenure, and housing sector management.

“There is a great need for this kind of fora as there are myriad challenges in the housing sector… challenges pertaining to governance, security of tenure, housing need and demand, so the conference will address some of these issues and discuss possible solutions,” Prendergast noted. She added that key stakeholders, policymakers, academia, technocrats and housing agencies from across the region will explore best practices and initiatives to move the housing sector forward in light of the changing global environment, especially as it relates to urbanisation and climate change.

Day one of the conference will facilitate registration and the opening ceremony with the keynote address from Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Days two and three will feature presentations from technocrats in the housing sector, persons from the building and civil societies, and mortgage institutions.

Topics for day two include climate change and increased natural disasters, the implications for the housing sector, credit risk in government mortgage lending, evaluating housing options in Jamaica and the establishment of a residential mortgage-backed security (RMBS) market in Jamaica. Discussions on day three will focus on housing dynamics in tourism housing districts; the role of policy, partnership and participation; housing and infrastructure: catalyst for community safety; and housing and sustainable urban development in the Caribbean and rural housing: a necessary pillar in community development.

Key participants will include representatives from the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Cities Alliance, Habitat for Humanity, and United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Representatives and groups from St Lucia, Barbados and Montserrat have confirmed attendance. “There will be a variety of options, positions and experiences to share at this conference, and so we are looking forward to identify some good practices and innovative approaches for adoption,” Prendergast said.

The Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation will be hosting the conference, with sponsorship from the National Housing Trust (NHT), Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS), Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) and First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union Limited.

For more details on the upcoming conference, persons may email housing.conference2017@megjc.gov.jm or call 920-6350.

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