Tenement yards to be upgraded

BY ALPHEA SAUNDERS
Senior staff reporter
saundersa@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, February 15, 2019

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The Government is to unveil a new social housing programme for the poor, and upgrade tenements, known in urban areas as “big yards”, this year.

Governor General Sir Patrick Allen made the announcement during the Throne Speech yesterday, in which he outlined the legislative agenda for the year, and a number of Government programmes and policies which are ongoing or being planned.

The social housing programme will also involve the relocation of vulnerable communities. It is to be administered under the Housing, Opportunity, Production, Employment (HOPE) programme, and provide job opportunities for HOPE interns.

The head of state said this year the Government will undertake a comprehensive multi-agency national survey of squatter settlements to accurately ascertain the extent of squatting in the country.

“It will also provide critical socio-economic, demographic and environmental information on these settlements that will inform the policy development process as well as intervention strategies,” he said.

The governor general also noted that the National Housing Trust (NHT) strategic review, which was tabled in Parliament last year, will be debated to strategically inform the approach to the housing sector.

At the same time, he said the NHT is to review its construction management processes, redesign/enhance its customer-facing systems and implement an improved contributions accounting management system.

Meanwhile, drafting instructions are now being finalised for amendments to the Registration (Strata Titles) Act, the Real Estate (Dealers and Developers) Act, and the Timeshare Vacations Act.

This is to give effect to the establishment of the Real Estate Authority of Jamaica. The Government will also bring legislation to regularise communities with shared amenities that are not governed by the Registration (Strata Titles) Act, the governor general told Parliament.

He also said that the Government is continuing its engagement with various stakeholders regarding the modernisation and development of National Heroes' Park and surrounding lands.

He said the procurement of the relevant expertise for a feasibility study and social impact assessment for the construction of a new Parliament project will be completed this year.


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