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HomeNewsCaribbean NewsJamaica: NHT to commence 15,009 housing solutions for low-income contributors from April...

Jamaica: NHT to commence 15,009 housing solutions for low-income contributors from April 1

By Chris Patterson

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – The National Housing Trust (NHT) is projecting to commence construction of 15,009 housing solutions across the island during the upcoming fiscal year, which begins April 1.

Making his contribution to the 2024/25 budget debate in the House of Representatives on March 21, prime minister, Andrew Holness, said that more than 96 percent of the solutions are geared towards lower middle-income to low-income contributors – the move is in keeping with a policy directive by the government to the NHT board three years ago.

“There are a few legacy projects which we were committed to … and those projects will continue, but we are not taking on any new project that is outside of the policy guideline for low-income to lower middle-income contributors,” the prime minister explained.

The solutions will comprise 4,309 two-bedroom solutions, priced at an average below $13 million; 7,600 one-bedroom units, priced at an average below $10 million; and 3,100 serviced lots, priced below $4 million.

Providing a breakdown of the programmed housing starts by parish and projects, the prime minister informed that for Kingston & St Andrew, a total of 966 units will be provided through the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) housing project, and the Rasta City (now Royal Estates) and Bay Farm Road developments; 400 units at Ruthven 2 in St Andrew; 2,842 at Brampton Farms and Colbeck 5&6 in St Catherine; and 2,277 units at Longville Park Pen and Carlsberg in Clarendon.

There will be also 1,468 solutions at Mount Nelson, Manchester; 543, Friendship 2 and Brompton Manor 2, St. Elizabeth; 1,175 at Negril Spot and Chantilly in Westmoreland; 365 at Pointe, Hanover; 1,040 at Dry Valley, Trelawny; 1983 at Barrett Hall and Spot Valley in St James; 580 units in Galina, Highgate and Industry Pen in St Mary; 660 for Rozelle, St Thomas; and 710 for build-on-own-land, construction loan and homeowner projects in all parishes.

“We are building houses all over Jamaica,” the prime minister said. He told the House that the NHT will complete approximately 3,744 housing solutions across the island in 2024/2025.

The programmed housing completions by parish and projects include 32 at Vineyard Town, Maxfield Park and St Paul’s Lane, Kingston; 46 at Foreshore for St. Andrew; 1,105 at Silver Sun and Colbeck, St. Catherine; 333 at Humming Bird Meadows and Monymusk 2 in Clarendon; 492 at Perth 2 in Manchester; 130 at Brompton Manor 2 and Malvern in St. Elizabeth; 60 at Sheffield Palms in Westmoreland; 120 in  Winchester, Hanover; 118 in Windsor, Trelawny; 524 at Irwin and Estuary 2, St. James; 14 at Nonsuch, St Mary; 100 at Rozelle, St Thomas; and 600 for build-on-own-land, construction loan and homeowner projects in all parishes.

The prime minister said that housing completions continue to be challenged by supply chain disruptions, contractor delays, quality assurance issues and approval delays and shortage of labour.

To this end, the NHT will provide the opportunity for Housing Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme participants to develop their skills and experience and become certified in construction.

The prime minister informed that the NHT will build out this programme with the HEART/NSTA Trust by creating an on-the-job training environment with development partners and aid in the provision of safety equipment, small tools and other learning aids. These participants will be certified in construction and project management within two years.

To further boost the labour supply for the construction sector, the NHT will also expand its scholarship programme to provide tuition at a maximum of $1 million per annum per student, for up to 10 students at the tertiary level pursuing careers in cvil engineering, construction management, construction technology, architecture, urban planning, building technology and related fields.

“This is a significant programme because the challenge is real when it comes to finding the technical skills and finding the labour in the construction area. So, I am very happy that the NHT is making this significant contribution to the training and education of people in the construction industry,” prime minister Holness pointed out that the NHT continues to find innovative ways to increase access and affordability of housing for contributors.

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