Charles wants more climate-resilient housing solutions for JamaicansSunday, April 18, 2021
Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Pearnel Charles Jr, says the Government recognises the urgent need for housing solutions and structured policies to support the several vulnerable Jamaicans who currently live in areas most severely affected by or are susceptible to the impact of climate change.
“While the Government continues to increase access to financing and expand affordability of housing solutions we are also focused on building resilient shelter solutions that can better withstand the impact of climate change,” said the minister.
According to the Green Climate Fund, Jamaica is a small island developing state (SIDS) and is the third most exposed country in the world to multiple climate hazards, with over 96 per cent of the country's gross domestic product and population at risk from two or more hazards. Its primary risks are linked to hazards, including hurricanes, floods, droughts, storm surges, and landslides.
The minister noted that his research has established that the impact of climate change is amplified in vulnerable small island developing states like Jamaica and particularly hard on Jamaicans situated in informal settlements that are most exposed to the effects of natural disasters and impacts of climate change.
“The Government will therefore be crafting policies and operational measures to effect solutions, including relocation, rehabilitation, and regularisation of persons who occupy these high-risk areas. Importantly, resilience has to be an intrinsic feature in future housing projects, given the increasing vulnerability and ever-changing climatic conditions,” Charles said.
The project falls under the Government's mandate to formalise a minimum of 20,000 land titles each year to decrease the number of unregistered lands and to build 70,000 affordable housing solutions in the next five years, which are resilient to environmental degradation.