KINGSTON, Jamaica – Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller today lauded her government’s achievement in housing as a “progressive approach”.
Simpson Miller, speaking at the People’s National Party’s (PNP) 74th annual conference held at the National Arena, said that the PNP has solved one of the country’s greatest challenges – providing affordable housing solutions.
“Just last week we broke ground for the Nashville Housing Development in St Mary. It is one of many rural housing developments to come,” Simpson Miller told Comrades.
Simpson Miller added that she has given instructions for new emphasis in six major areas including the provision of more housing for rural communities.
“It has a value of $1 billion of new investment in rural Jamaica, said Simpson Miller, who added that building houses always served to stimulate economic activity.
Since the beginning of this year she said her administration has completed 918 houses in Longville Phase 3 in Clarendon, 258 serviced lots in Perth Phase 1 in Manchester, and 140 serviced lots in Creighton Hall, St Thomas.
She said that she has also instructed that the focus be on developing complete communities rather than just housing schemes.
“Depending on the populations of the communities, we are including sports facilities, green spaces, community centres, and basic schools in the housing developments,” said Simpson Miller.
“We are building communities and transforming lives.”
Simpson Miller said that she has also given instructions that the age of young professionals to receive housing benefits be expanded from 25 – 30 years, to 25 to 40 years.
“My mandate is to build houses especially for these young professionals and to reserve houses for persons with disabilities.”
Simpson Miller said that the NHT was working with the National Water Commission and the parish councils to provide “thousands of Jamaicans, who never had piped water before, or had limited water supply, with the precious commodity.”
“Now, the young woman in Nashville can realise her dream of starting her hairdressing business because she will have regular, piped water,” Simpson Miller said.
“The farmer in Clonmel will have water to tend his crops and livestock… as you see, housing and water are naturally linked,” she added.