News from the OPM

Reorganized Housing Agency to focus on Public Private Partnerships

Minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Housing, Water and Works, Dr. Horace Chang, says the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) will focus on administering Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s).

At present a major reorganisation of the HAJ is being done. Dr. Chang says the government’s move to reorganize the entity is to make it viable.

Minister Chang disclosed that “in the medium term we will be looking at a completely different agency, because government’s involvement in housing construction over the years has proven not only unsatisfactory but some point it becomes characterized with nepotism and corruption.”

According to Minister Chang the Agency will administer the Housing Act and provide effective construction monitoring of these areas.

Additionally, Minister Chang said, “it will ensure that the titles are ready quickly and the mortgages from the National Housing Trust (NHT) can move smoothly to the beneficiaries. With this mechanism we hope to reduce the traditional levels of nepotism that will take place in the sector.”

Minister Chang also revealed that since taking office early last year, the HAJ has moved off the dependency list and has been made operationally viable.

He noted that several projects which have been dormant were resuscitated and completed, and individuals are now acquiring these homes.

Approximately 400 individuals will benefit from the first phase of the Green Pond Housing development and The Savannah, a cluster of the Vistas at Runaway Bay projects which are now on the market.