THE Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) has announced plans to construct a major housing development in Shooters Hill, Portmore, St Catherine beginning in the latter part of the 2011/12 fiscal year.
Managing director of the HAJ Joseph Shoucair, who made the announcement while addressing Observer reporters and editors at the newspaper's weekly Monday Exchange in Kingston, said the plan is to provide more than 2,000 housing solutions -- houses and serviced lots.
Shooters Hill is a mass of land overlooking Braeton and which is now utilised by joggers and hikers.
According to Shoucair, the HAJ is also contemplating another major development on lands close to Westmeade Willows, which was initially slated for the construction of a hospital. The land is currently owned by the National Insurance Fund.
"If the construction of the hospital is off then that land is slated for housing," he said of long discussed plans to construct a hospital in the St Catherine municipality.
He announced further that another major development is scheduled for Bernard Lodge, a community close to Portmore.
Meanwhile, Shoucair noted that with the construction of the Portmore leg of Highway 2000, as well as the new water supply scheme from Ferry, Portmore will be able to accommodate a substantial amount of housing units.
He said the municipality is most suited for additional housing developments because of the flat terrain and its close proximity to Kingston, the Jamaican capital.
"I think, if necessary, we will have to further expand the facility there to accommodate more people because the natural area of growth since St Thomas (in the eastern end of the island) has a far more difficult terrain," he said.
Shoucair also announced that the HAJ is currently eyeing lands in Mona for the development of 54 lots.
"We are looking at a 54-lot development in Mona and if it ever happens, it will be high income because the land is going to be very expensive to build on," he said.
Since 2007/08, Shoucair said the agency has been aggressively pursuing new housing developments, and was able to make a $200-million profit last year. It is now hoping for an even better performance in the new fiscal year.