Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared the commitment of Government to the provision of safe and affordable housing for all Jamaicans.
Speaking at the hand over of keys to the first house under the housing component of the HOPE programme today (November 1), Prime Minister Holness stated that the Government has put policies in place to respond to the demand for low-income and social housing.
Prime Minister Holness said the Government will address social housing through the housing component of the HOPE programme.
“We have allocated a certain amount of funds in the budget, close to a million dollars, and it is distributed island-wide and each Member of Parliament has been given five housing solutions based upon their demand and in consultation with the HOPE Secretariat determine each year, five housing problems that they have, that they need to solve and can use the resources,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In that regard, Prime Minister Holness noted that the programme is designed to improve the housing stock of ‘big yards’, where there are many households and many young children.
According to Prime Minister Holness, the Government has tested the programme and developed various modalities that will be used.
“What we are doing is to make sure that we get to those who are urgently in need and we deal with those who are vulnerable and we deal with those that are most affected particularly families with many young children or with many elderly so that is the idea of the housing aspect of the HOPE programme,” said Prime Minister Holness.
The rehabilitated five bedroom house, located on Bay Farm Road in Western St. Andrew, was damaged by fire on July 19 this year.
The family matriarch, Hermine Tennant was injured in the fire which claimed the life of a young child Neymar Facey.
The house was rehabilitated under the HOPE programme’s Social Housing and Indigent Housing Initiative for $8,011,863.75.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness said even as the family expressed gratitude and satisfaction for their new home, their joy was mixed with sadness as they mourn the loss of young Neymar.
The Prime Minister also urged families to be vigilant when taking care of their young children.
He encouraged families not to use open flames such as candles and lamps and pay attention to fire hazards in households.