PM announces social housing for tourism workers
ST JAMES, Jamaica— Tourism workers who live in substandard conditions are to benefit from housing solutions under a partnership between the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and the New Social Housing Programme (NSHP).
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in making the announcement, said he has had discussion with Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, for some of the TEF revenues to go towards providing decent dwelling for persons employed in the hospitality sector who have below-standard housing.
He was addressing the ceremony to break ground for the Pinnacle development in Montego Bay, St James, on Saturday, January 20.
The NSHP, which was established in 2018 by Prime Minister Holness, was developed to improve the housing condition of the country’s poor and disadvantaged population by providing quality, affordable and sustainable housing.
It is being executed through the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
Meanwhile, the prime minister said that other projects are being undertaken to provide affordable housing solutions for tourism workers, noting that lands are already being secured.
“We have given directives to the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) and the National Housing Trust (NHT), and they have secured lands and are about to secure more in areas that have a high concentration of tourism enterprises. So, very shortly, we will be coming to market with housing solutions specifically targeted to tourism workers,” Holness said.
He noted that adequate housing for workers is a necessary part of the development of the island’s tourism product, stating that the Government is mindful that with the growth of the sector, more employees will be needed and they will require places to live.
He said that as the country develops “we must lift the standard of all Jamaicans”.
In his New Year’s address, the prime minister informed that four major international hotel investor groups, including RCD Hotels, Bahia Principe and Princess Resorts, have combined, committed to constructing more than 2,000 residential units for industry employees.
Holness also recently announced that an additional 500 houses will be built under the NSHP during the financial year 2024/2025.
The Pinnacle project is being spearheaded by LCH Developments and will entail the construction of four 28-storey apartment blocks located in the Reading area of the Second City. Construction of the development is expected to be completed in four years.
The private Pinnacle community will sit on its own peninsula and have more than 500 apartments overlooking the city’s marine reserve. It will also have villas, sports and leisure facilities, shopping facilities, restaurants and a private residents’ club.