By Garfield L. Angus
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Prime minister Andrew Holness has emphasised that making affordable houses available to all sectors of society is a vision to which the government is committed.
“Our commitment of 70,000 housing solutions is underway. We have put together the Bernard Lodge project, 15,000 houses, and we are seeing other private sector initiatives coming up,” Holness said, at a social housing function, in Farm Pen, St Mary, July 16.
The prime minister pointed out that the 70,000 housing solutions would be delivered over the next five years.
He said that with several housing developments now at various stages of construction by the National Housing Trust (NHT), the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ)), and the private sector, Jamaicans would have those houses.
Prime minister Holness explained that private developers are collaborating with the NHT and the HAJ to bring new units on the housing market, and that will make many houses available for persons in need of shelter.
“We are confident that we will provide the 70,000 new houses, and we will be going almost ahead of the demand yearly, for new houses. That means no one will have a reason to squat, or be informally settled,” the prime minister told the audience.
He emphasised that the move is to ensure that Jamaicans have cheaper houses, which they can afford, and to give people hope of owning their homes, while also discouraging the setting up of informal communities.
“We are building out formal communities,” the prime minister said. “We are creating a housing market that will provide solutions for every Jamaican, wherever you are on the economic and social ladder,” he said, adding that the government is sensitive and has a clear understanding of the need for “good shelter solutions,” and is responding through various programmes.