By Douglas McIntosh
KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – The government has programmed the construction of 43,172 houses over the next four years. This is part of the 70,000 they have committed to building, prime minister, Andrew Holness added is based on current developments completed, under construction, in negotiations, budgeted, or in planning and design stages.
He was speaking during the 2022/23 budget debate in the House of Representatives on Thursday (March 17), under the theme ‘Building Our Jamaica: Sowing Seeds of Peace, Opportunity and Prosperity’.
Providing a breakdown of the channels through which the units will be provided, Holness said the National Housing Trust (NHT), for which he has portfolio responsibility, has programmed 30,280, noting that the entity is overseeing ongoing construction activities at 24 housing developments with a total of 11,394 solutions.
Additionally, he said the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) is expected to contribute 5,443 units. The prime minister also advised that 5,134 will be provided through the Greater Bernard Lodge Development in St Catherine, while another 2,315 will be derived through the Social Housing Programme.
Holness said the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is also expected to contribute to the housing provisions, having indicated that they identified land for this purpose in the Caymanas area of St Catherine.
“They are actually in the planning stages now of doing a major development in that area, and they are looking at somewhere in the region of 1,000 units,” Holness maintained that the government’s target of developing 70,000 new housing solutions by the end of fiscal 2025/26 “is not a pipe dream”, adding that “there are concrete plans in place to achieve it”.
These, he pointed out, have already resulted in the completion of projects at Perth 1A, Manchester; Seascape, and Ruthven Towers in Kingston and St Andrew, as well as Twickenham Glades in St Catherine, in 2021/22.