Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he intends to action a proposed new policy on the utilization of lands aimed at ensuring the orderly development of housing solutions across the country.
Prime Minister Holness says there must be an orderly approach to development and housing.
“There is always the issue of the utilization of land (we) shouldn’t be using land for housing which is good agricultural land, how will it affect the aquifer, the development and environmental concerns and it is something that I very sensitive to and it is never easy but the nation must never lose sight of the ultimate goal and the ultimate goal is to provide shelter in an orderly way and in a sustainable way”, said Prime Minister Holness.
In his keynote address yesterday (April 24) at the National Housing Trust (NHT) groundbreaking ceremony for the SilverSun Estates in Innswood, St. Catherine development, Prime Minister Holness asserted that a small island state such as Jamaica can’t allow developments to spread in a haphazard manner.
In that regard, Prime Minister Holness declared that he has requested a full brief on the Bernard Lodge housing development.
“I have now requested a full brief. Since I’ve launched the programme it has advanced so I want to see where they are with it as the public concerns need to be addressed but I wish to say here that I am very concerned about the sprawling nature of residential developments”, stated Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister outlined that the Government may incentivise developments in higher density towns and cities such as Mandeville and Montego Bay if developers focus on constructing multi-storey apartments in those areas.
“At some point in time – and that point is coming soon – the Government will have to arrange its toolbox. As I said, the NHT (National Housing Trust) was an instrument, a tool, and the ministers are craftsmen of policy. So, we will have to change policies and use the toolboxes to send signals to the private sector, the private developers, to give them incentives to focus on the areas that we already built,” said Prime Minister Holness.
Some 1,200 detached and duplex two-bedroom units will be developed at Silver Sun Estate adjoining the Innswood sugar estate. The project is being executed under the Guaranteed Purchase Programme which seeks to leverage efficiencies with private sector partners to deliver lower cost units, within faster timeframes