Kingston, Jamaica (McN) – Jamaican Prime Minister Hon. Andrew Holness says the building of a 1,200-unit NHT housing in Negril, Westmoreland for tourism workers is coming soon.
Prime Minister Most Hon. Andrew Holness on Friday, March 24 broke ground for the development of 112 serviced lots in Westmoreland. The National Housing Trust (NHT) will develop 51 serviced lots at Yeast Plant in Frome at a cost of $127 million; and 61 serviced lots in Shrewsbury, at a cost of $119 million.
“This is why the NHT has been given the simple charge to build more houses. It doesn’t make sense having this massive reserve piling up that everybody is salivating over and the demand is there for more houses,” Prime Minister Holness said.
He laid out that, the Government builds between 6,000-7,000 housing solutions per year, with the NHT being responsible for about 50 per cent of the amount.
Prime Minster Holness was Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony last Friday, for the development of 61 National Housing Trust (NHT) lots to the tune of J$119 million, in Shrewsbury, Westmoreland.
“The NHT is the main development housing institution in Jamaica. The question however becomes how do you use it? The role of the NHT really is to stimulate the housing market. That is its strategic role. We must however be mindful that one organization cannot fulfill the housing needs in Jamaica,” he stated said.
“The NHT in one year couldn’t remotely handle that amount. What we need to have is the private sector coming in to assist. The NHT…would now come in and support a housing market through the financing,” said Prime Minister Holness.
“This is very critical, especially since we often find that the financing of houses can be very expensive. In fact the interest rates that are applied to some of the housing development loans are way too high. When they put on their profit and go to market to sell, the price is very high and the mortgage people have to pay is way too high,” he continued.
Prime Minster Holness said the government must leverage the large reserve of the NHT and use it to encourage the private sector to partner in the development of housing.
“If we are really going to make an impact that is what we will have to do. That is the charge I have given to the NHT. Yes you have to build the houses, yes you have to stimulate it. That is your job. At the end of the day, we want every Jamaican to be proud of their identity,” he stated.
“We expect this project to be completed by 2020 and (that) the people of Westmoreland will benefit significantly,” said Holness.
“Negril is just bursting at the seams,” he said. “We have to figure out now how we plan for that expansion, so you don’t have irregular settlements becoming a constraint for the growth of the town,” he went on to state.
He also visited the Frome, Westmoreland as well, where the NHT also broke ground for the $127 million, 51 lots.
“The Government understands the need for housing and will be working very hard to ensure that everyone gets a fair share. We are not being partisan, selective or parial. We are just here to build houses,” he pointed out.
“The sacrifices you make today will be for your family’s future tomorrow. You would be surprised to know how much can be saved and put towards a mortgage if only some of the frivolous things can be discarded,” he said.