Jamaica has signed an agreement with a Canadian firm that will result in the provision of 10,000 new houses, the Government has revealed.
Under the memorandum of understanding, valued at Can$740 million, Commonwealth Corporate Support Services Group of Canada (CWG) will provide direct foreign investment for the construction and delivery of 10,000 affordable housing solutions, as well as financing for non-housing infrastructure development projects.
The agreement, which will initially cover arrangements over a four-year period (2013 - 2017), will also facilitate strategic linkages and services in support of Jamaica's long-term development goals. The Government will contribute in whole or in part, lands on which the infrastructural development projects will be executed. Among the specific and direct benefits to be derived from the agreement are:
* Private foreign investment and financing for the construction of the 10,000 houses to be delivered between 2014 and 2017;
* Private financing for agreed non-housing infrastructure development projects, in priority areas such as industry, tourism, transportation, road construction, renewable energy, and entertainment;
* Development of a modular housing fabrication plant in Jamaica, with the potential for export to other regional markets;
* Provision of training skills, skills development and employment for Jamaicans; and
* Stimulation of economic growth and revenue creation.
A special purpose vehicle (SPV), registered as a not-for-profit entity in Jamaica, will be established as the responsible executing agency for the implementation of the projects.
Distribution of equity holding in this SPV will be among Canadian and Jamaican private sector interests. The Jamaica Government will hold no equity in the SPV, and will bear no risks or contingent liabilities.