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Gov't developing regulatory framework to address inadequate housing

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw says the Government is in the process of developing a comprehensive regulatory framework for the housing sector in order to meet the annual demand for houses, which currently stands at 15,000.

He was speaking at the Real Estate Board's 30th Anniversary Banquet & Awards Ceremony, held at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on October 6, where he represented Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Shaw stated that among the initiatives to be undertaken to address this situation are the development of a National Housing Policy and Implementation Plan; revision of the Rent Restriction Act; and undertaking of a National Squatting Survey.

“We have been unable to satisfy this demand over the years and this has caused prices to rapidly escalate, pushing the ability to attain the goal of homeownership from the grasp of many,” Shaw was quoted as saying in a release from his ministry.

Referring to the Business and Consumer Confidence Survey for the first and second quarters of 2018, Shaw noted that only 7 per cent of consumers anticipated buying a home soon.

“We must find a way to make it easier for the working class, tax-paying citizens of this country to earn their homes within a reasonable time, thereby strengthening their growth and that of the country,” the minister said.

He cited the importance of the private sector and government in looking at the factors that need to be developed or strengthened to ensure that the market remains favourable and attractive for investors, developers, dealers and purchasers, the release said.

Fourteen individuals were recognised for over 10 years of faithful and dedicated service to the Real Estate Board, including Chief Executive Officer Sandra Garrick, who served for 30 years.

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