Jamaica News: The National Housing Trust (NHT) is partnering with the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development to refurbish infirmaries across the island at a cost of $135 million.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who has portfolio responsibility for the NHT, said the allocation will go towards improving conditions for less-fortunate persons, who utilise these facilities.
“We cannot overemphasise the need for protection of the vulnerable,” he said, while making his contribution to the 2019/20 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (March 19).
He noted that the NHT will also commence expansion of the Parents’ Overnight Suite at the Bustamante Hospital for Children during the first quarter of the new fiscal year, to provide separate accommodation for fathers.
He said that the number of males using the suite has increased in recent years, and “there is need to provide separate space for both genders for privacy reasons”.
Mr. Holness told the House further that the agency is taking steps to establish a Service Standard Agreement with municipal corporations by the end of the current fiscal year on March 31, which will see the corporations assuming responsibility for infrastructure maintenance of NHT developments.
He explained that this arrangement aims to eliminate issues of delayed takeover of road and drainage system maintenance.
Mr. Holness said the agreement will include maintenance fees, scope of works and acceptable standards by which the infrastructure should be built.
He noted that since 2013, the municipal corporations have taken over nine of the 16 NHT projects.
“Based on ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, it is expected that the other seven projects, not yet subsumed under the remit of the municipal corporations, will be taken over during the next financial year,” he indicated.
Source: JIS News