Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Friday, May 5, broke ground for 150 serviced lots being developed at Chateau Gardens in Birds Hill, Clarendon.
The lots comprise the first of the development’s two phases being undertaken by the National Housing Trust (NHT) to provide 565 housing solutions at a cost of $593 million.
Friday’s ground breaking marked the second in as many weeks for the Prime Minister in Clarendon. On April 28, he broke ground for 85 housing solutions being built in phase 2A at Longville Park.
In his address to the residents of Birds Hill and neighbouring communities, Mr. Holness re-emphasised the need for more stable communities, noting that the prevalence of disorderly home ownership needed to change.
“We are not going to continue the haphazard development of our country. Disorderly settlements breed crime, violence and social disorder (making) it difficult to bring services to the communities,” he said.
The Prime Minister also re-committed to using the NHT’s funds to build “(housing) solutions that are affordable and match the dignity of the people of Jamaica.”
Mr. Holness said between 5,000 and 10,000 affordable housing solutions were being targeted for provision by the NHT in order to meet the growing demand for homes islandwide.
He argued that by satisfying this demand, the NHT would be assisting in transforming Jamaica.
Meanwhile, NHT Chairman, Ambassador Dr. Nigel Clarke, told the residents that the agency was focused on “facilitating housing solutions.”
He informed that since the start of the year, the NHT has broken ground for 2,000 housing starts.
“By the end of this year we would have broken ground for 5,500 housing solutions, which is more than 2009 to 2010 and 2011 to 2015 combined,” he added.
Dr. Clarke also assured that the NHT would continue using its resources to build more homes over the medium to long term.
The NHT’s Managing Director, Martin Miller, encouraged residents to visit the agency’s May Pen office in Clarendon and inquire about home ownership and accessing benefits.
He also urged persons not currently contributing to the NHT to commence doing so in order to qualify for home ownership.
Transport and Mining Minister and Central Clarendon Member of Parliament, Hon. Mike Henry, welcomed the commencement of work on Chateau Gardens and thanked Mr. Holness for his role in initiating it.
Similar sentiments were expressed by State Minister for Finance and the Public Service and Member of Parliament for South East Clarendon, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, who said he was “extremely grateful” to the Prime Minister for “bringing the Housing Trust to the community.”
Mr. Spencer also hailed Dr. Clarke’s contribution to the NHT in his capacity as Chairman.
It is expected that upon completion in June 2018, Chateau Gardens will have paved roads with kerbs, storm water drains, sewage collection and central sewage treatment as well as potable water distribution, among other provisions.
Article by: Chad Bryan
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm