Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared that the Government is committed to solving the country’s housing and land settlement issues.
Already, he says, the current Administration which he leads holds the strongest record in housing.
The National Housing Trust is on track to build 22,000 homes by the end of this financial year, the most housing solutions built by a single Administration.
The Prime Minister made the comments on Friday (August 9) during his keynote address at the ground-breaking ceremony at Rhyne Park Estate in St. James.
“The NHT is now on track to build 22,000 housing solutions by the end of this financial year, the most that have ever been built by any administration in any term. The HAJ that was an agency that was on my chopping block one of the Agencies that was plagued by corruption, I said we can’t have this agency. Dr. Horace Chang, then Minister without portfolio with that Ministry, pleaded with me and said, we can turn in around, and that agency has been turned around. It has been moved from a loss-making agency to with bad audit reports to an agency that is about to make a surplus. More than that they have now started to deliver housing solutions at the price point that people can afford,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In that regard, the Prime Minister underscored that in less than a decade the Government will be able to solve the housing and settlement problems in Jamaica.
The Prime Minister stated that this can be done through increasing the housing construction to realise five to ten thousand houses per year in planned communities.
According to the Prime Minister, the Government has made it easier for individuals to own their own home in Jamaica with affordable prices and easy access to financing.
“What this government has done with its emphasis on housing, with its emphasis on building, with its emphasis on creating sustainable communities that will retain value for the people who invest in them so that they can pass on that value to the next generation, is to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty through the development of housing and community,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness emphasized that the Government is doing more than just talk and communicating, its ensuring achievements and delivering on its commitment to the people.
“What we try to do as a Government is, first of all, make sure that we present to you the information that is necessary for you as the citizen to make a decision to form an opinion. So, I have always said to my Ministers it is important to communicate. But…, as a Government, we don’t celebrate announcements. So, you are not going to hear me make announcements of things to come in a celebratory way. You will see this kind of set up when it is happening,” said Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister asserted that the Government has implemented good policies as seen in the provision of good, quality affordable housing solutions.
A mixture of 754 one to three-bedroom townhouses, apartment, and single-family units are being built by the Housing Agency of Jamaica at Rhyne Park Estate in St. James. The project will be completed in three years.