493 houses for Spanish Town
A new housing scheme, called Eltham Vista, consisting of 493 houses, is to be built in Spanish Town, just off the Brunswick Avenue.
The agreements for the sale of the land for the development was signed last week between the Ministry of Water and Housing and West Indies Home Contractors Limited (WIHCON), for the development of 493 housing solutions in St Catherine.
One agreement was for the sale of 24 hectares (60 acres) of land by the Government to WIHCON for $21.3 million, to facilitate construction of the housing scheme.
In addition, the ministry and WIHCON signed a facilitation agreement, whereby, through the Housing Act of 1968, the Government would offer administrative/bureaucratic support to expedite the development process.
Minister of Water and Housing Donald Buchanan, who signed the agreements at the ministry in New Kingston, said the National Housing Trust (NHT) would provide mortgage financing for the units being built.
The housing scheme will consist of 432 studio apartments, to be sold for $1.235 million each. There will be 61 two- bedroom units, each costing $2.6 million.
Peter Matalon, a director of WIHCON, said the company was pleased to be associated with the effort to provide housing for Jamaicans, noting that there was a slight shift in focus to studio units over the past 10 years.
At the same time, Buchanan noted that the Ministry of Housing, in collaboration with other agencies, including WIHCON, had provided more than 116,000 houses in the 1990s.
One major contributor to this significant figure, the minister noted, was the development of the Greater Portmore housing scheme, with over 10,000 units. In addition, he cited the construction of houses in Portmore Pines, St Catherine and Manley Meadows, Kingston in 1997, with 846 and 1,068 houses, respectively. Also, between 1999 and 2000, 632 houses were constructed in Christian Gardens, St Catherine (phases one and two); and 630 units at Angel Grove, also in St Catherine between 2001 and 2002, Buchanan noted.
"By the fall of 2004, 493 more Jamaican families are to benefit from this new housing solution project," the minister said.