Jamaica News: More sugar workers and their families are to benefit from affordable housing solutions being developed by the National Housing Trust (NHT), in partnership with SCJ Holdings Limited (SCJH).
Ground was broken for the NHT’s newest housing development, Monymusk Glades in Jacksonville, Clarendon, on Wednesday (Sept. 12), which will see the development of 84 serviced lots.
Under this joint venture, SCJH will set aside 50 of the 84 lots for sugar workers who were previously living on the land, and who will now become legitimate land owners. The remaining lots are to be sold by the NHT on the open market.
Welcoming the development, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Karl Samuda, said he is pleased that a significant portion of the serviced lots are dedicated to sugar workers.
“Under the Sugar Transformation Programme, we were able to improve the lot of those long suffering persons in the industry who lived in barracks,” he said.
The Government has been working to improve the living conditions of former sugar workers by removing them from houses built as temporary solutions (barracks), and providing them with new homes or lots on which to build their houses. Over time, the barracks, which eventually became the workers’ permanent homes, have fallen into disrepair and are no longer suitable for occupancy.
Mr. Samuda said home ownership is one of the most crucial necessities in the country, and stressed that the Government is committed to providing affordable housing solutions for Jamaicans, particularly for lower income and middle income persons.
He noted that last year, the housing stock was increased by 41 per cent, compared to the previous year. “We are on target to produce more houses in this term of office than has ever been produced in the history of Jamaica,” he added.
Also welcoming the development was Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw; and Member of Parliament for Clarendon South Eastern, Hon. Rudyard Spencer.
Under the partnership, SCJ Holdings has provided 21 acres of land for the development, which adjoins the Monymusk Sugar Factory owned by Pan-Caribbean Sugar Company Ltd. Beneficiaries will only pay for the infrastructural cost of lots, as the land has been provided free of cost.
The NHT is responsible for the installation of the necessary infrastructure, which include paved roads with kerbs; street names and traffic signs; storm water drainage systems; and a potable water distribution system. There will also be an area for community recreational use.
In addition, the Jamaica Public Service pole line infrastructure and street lights will be done under a separate contract with the JPS. On-lot sewerage treatment systems are to be completed by the lot owners.
Infrastructure works began on the site in June this year and is expected to be completed in March 2019.
The potential land owners have been kept abreast of the project’s development through community meetings jointly held by the NHT and SCJH, and given appropriate guidance on how to proceed, including funding options from the NHT or any financial institutions to build on the lots.
Source: JIS News