PM announces social housing for tourism workers
MONTEGO BAY, St James — 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 Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett for some of the TEF revenues to go towards providing decent dwelling for people 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.
The NSHP was established in 2018 to provide quality, affordable and sustainable housing for the country’s poor and disadvantaged population.
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, Holness had announced that four major international hotel investor groups, including RCD Hotels, Bahia Principe and Princess Resorts have committed to constructing more than 2,000 residential units, combined, for industry employees.
He also announced recently 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 Montego Bay. 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, leisure and shopping facilities, restaurants and a private residents’ club.