Housing minister promises urgent fix for Green Pond Grove

Housing minister promises urgent fix for Green Pond Grove

Thursday, January 28, 2021

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MINISTER of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change Pearnel Charles Jr has declared that his ministry is committed to addressing the concerns of residents at the Green Pond Grove housing development in St James.

The units at phase one of Green Pond Grove were announced for sale in 2016 by the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ), a self-funded entity that falls under the housing ministry.

But shortly after homeowners moved into the 85 units, several complained of leaking roofs, termite infestation, and several infrastructure issues that were not addressed in the development.

On Sunday, Charles and a team from the HAJ, including its Chairman Norman Brown and managing director Gary Howell, conducted a walk-through of Green Pond Grove and met with residents to hear their concerns.

The visit came on the heels of a similar engagement by the HAJ chairman on January 10, during which the agency engaged residents to discuss and resolve issues concerning the development, and to provide timelines for the completion of outstanding infrastructure and remedial work.

“We have taken a first-hand look at the issues relating to phase one of the development. We have engaged and listened to the residents who have shown me the problems they are having. I am satisfied that the HAJ is taking the right approach,” said Charles.

“For the last two weeks a member of the HAJ team has been on-site, analysing the problems and assessing how we can remedy them. This whole process is being done in coordination with the residents, and we are certain that this approach will enable us to move to the next phase of construction quickly as we work towards our mandate of creating affordable housing,” added Charles.

In the meantime, the HAJ chairman acknowledged the complaints lodged by the residents of Green Pond Grove and sought to assure them that the defects identified throughout the development would be corrected.

“We currently have two teams on location who have been working assiduously to complete the necessary repairs in the shortest period.

“The construction team is in the process of completing the development's retaining wall while the technical team continues to assess the problems and formulate the best plan of action. Once this assessment is complete we will be moving full speed ahead with repairs,” said Brown.

He noted that work on the development's retaining wall, one of the significant concerns communicated by residents, is scheduled for completion in early February.

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