Gov’t working with private developers to deliver affordable housing, says Charles JrMonday, November 22, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Pearnel Charles Jr, says that the Government is working with private developers to provide affordable and environmentally friendly housing solutions for Jamaicans.
“We are supporting and partnering with private developers to ensure that we can provide affordable housing for our citizens. Affordable housing must be [provided] in communities… where families can feel safe [and] have ownership of their space,” he said.
Charles Jr was speaking with reporters while on a tour of the Foreshore Estate in Delacree Pen, St Andrew, on Friday (November 19).
World Homes Jamaica Limited is undertaking the project for the construction of 239 housing units in the gated community.
The prices for the units range from $3.25 million to $5.35 million and include one-storey starter studios and starter one-bedroom houses; one-bedroom, two-storey quads, and duplex townhouses; and two-bedroom, two-storey quads, and duplex townhouses.
The National Housing Trust (NHT) is providing financing for the construction as well as mortgages for purchasers.
Charles Jr noted that for Jamaica to reach developed country status “we have to build this kind of planned, sustainable community,” particularly in places that are known to have certain challenges.
“We have to change our communities, by changing the environment and the infrastructure, and the face of the community. That is the urban renewal agenda,” he stressed.
Charles Jr said that the developers must be commended for keeping the house prices affordable, while also making provisions to facilitate rainwater harvesting.
The Minister added that he was happy to hear from the developers that they have included green spaces, which he regards as a reflection of their respect for the environment, and the need for the homeowners to have a well-developed community.
“We have discussed the prospect of a recycling programme to be incorporated in the development, and we have given them our commitment to work with them,” he stated.
The Minister pledged to work with housing developers in Jamaica to address the challenges that they face “while maintaining the accountability and transparency that is needed in the process of developing affordable housing for all Jamaicans”.
Meanwhile, President and CEO of World Homes Jamaica Limited, William Lai, said the housing project is being undertaken in six phases, noting that 48 of the 239 units have already been completed.
He said that a safe entrance to the community will be created from Marcus Garvey Drive, working in collaboration with the National Works Agency.
The gated community will include amenities such as a playground for children, open recreational green spaces, basketball court, jogging/walking paths, a new basic school, and adequate shared parking spaces.