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HomeDevelopmentsJamaica’s draft housing policy to advance white paper

Jamaica’s draft housing policy to advance white paper

By Garfield L. Angus

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Minister of housing, urban renewal, environment and climate change, Pearnel Charles Jr., says work will continue on the draft National Housing Policy during 2021/22 fiscal to advance it to a White Paper.

He said the draft, which was approved as a Green Paper in 2019, recognises that housing development must be carried out in an integrated manner in order to achieve sustainability.

Charles indicated that the policy will promote wide-ranging choices for Jamaicans to be able to access financing and housing solutions.

“We want to foster partnerships with the private sector. We want to look at all modalities that will allow us to provide efficient developments,” the minister said, during the opening of model homes in the Housing Agency of Jamaica’s (HAJ) Catherine Estates Housing Development in St Catherine on Friday, June 25.

Jamaica to introduce new housing policy

Charles said the government has remained forthright in the quest to accelerate the development of affordable housing.

He noted that the administration has “listened to cries” for decent and affordable housing and, as such, the prices for which the 1,650 units at Catherine Estates would be sold will start at $6 million.

On Monday, June 28, applications for those solutions, being developed in partnership with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), can be made via the HAJ’s website.

Minister Charles argued that the approach to providing housing must be comprehensive, taking into consideration the adoption and implementation of programmes with a strong social well-being component and targeted outcomes for the residents of communities.

“We are focused, through our agencies, to ensure that we advance the vision of 70,000 housing solutions, with a great portion of those affordable, to increase access and reduce informal settlements. Our goal at the ministry, is to tackle the chronic housing shortage by, not only putting up brick and mortar, [but] we want to build sustainable communities,” he said.

Against this background, Charles said Catherine Estates will have amenities and social structures to give residents access to crucial services.

In encouraging persons to apply for the units, the minister said they can approach the process with confidence, as measures have been put in place for new homeowners to secure their residences.

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