180 housing units handed over to needy Jamaicans
A total 180 homes have been handed over so far to beneficiaries under the Government’s New Social Housing Programme (NSHP), which aims to provide decent shelter for Jamaicans living in substandard conditions.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness presented the keys for the 179th and 180th units to two physically challenged beneficiaries in St Elizabeth on Friday.
A one-bedroom home was handed over to Wellesly McKenzie of Lacovia, while Winston Williams and his family, who reside in Cameron Hill district, received a three-bedroom unit.
Holness emphasised the targeted approach under the NSHP of identifying people in dire situations, particularly those who are disabled.
“We have to be, as a country and as a Government, far more sensitive to persons with disabilities. So this is something [being] integratedâ€¦ into the NSHP because many of the persons that we serve will have some form of disability that affects their mobility and functionality,” he added.
Holness further emphasised the importance of integrating wheelchair and disabled access into the design of the housing units. This consideration aligns with the Government’s commitment to ensuring that support reaches those who truly require it, according to Holness.
He said that as the initiative progresses, the integration of accessibility features will be prioritised, reflecting a broader sensitivity to the diverse needs of beneficiaries.
“As you can see, the units are very well built and, [at] today’s prices, reasonably costed,” Holness pointed out.
Meanwhile, McKenzie extended thanks to the taxpayers, the Government, and the prime minister for the support that has “lifted [my] spirits”.
Williams echoed similar sentiments, expressing appreciation for the Government’s efforts on his behalf, having lost his house to a fire four years ago, and subsequently suffering a stroke that has left him wheelchair-bound.
The NSHP was established in 2018 by the prime minister as the housing component of the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme.
It was developed to improve the living conditions of the country’s poor and disadvantaged population by providing quality, affordable, and sustainable housing.
The programme is being implemented through the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, with the HOPE unit providing administrative and technical support.