Jamaica (JIS)- PM Breaks Ground: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Friday (September 22) broke ground for the $4.1-billion Ruthven Towers apartment complex being developed by the National Housing Trust (NHT) on Ruthven Road, St. Andrew.
The project is being developed on land formerly owned by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and will see 238 strata units being built over two phases.
Phase one will comprise 64 one- and two-bedroom apartments, construction of which will start in November 2017 and end in July 2019.
Phase two is set to commence in September 2019 and will consist of 106 one-bedroom, 56 two-bedroom, and 13 three-bedroom apartments.
The development will include central garbage- and sewage-collection facilities, storm-water drainage, potable water distribution and centralized storage and electrical distribution systems.
It will also feature a meeting room, jogging trail, reception area and security room, among other features.
Mr. Holness said the project is in keeping with Government’s mission to provide access to affordable housing solutions for Jamaicans.
He noted that the agency is targeting the processing of more than 8,000 mortgages valued at approximately $28 billion for a wide cross-section of prospective homeowners.
“This is the largest that the NHT has ever done. So the NHT is responding to the mandate of the Government to build more houses. We are not just building houses in the high-income category… We are not building houses alone in the middle-income category… but we are building, mostly, housing solutions for persons who are earning just above minimum wage… housing that they can afford,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Holness said the NHT has been instructed to put the necessary mechanisms in place that will preserve the value and integrity of the Ruthven Towers apartments.
“The people who are investing their money here should have the guarantee that their investment will keep value,” he pointed out.
The Prime Minister said pending amendments to the Strata Act and proposed legislation to govern gated communities will ensure that the value of these properties is maintained.
The NHT’s Chairman, Dr. Nigel Clarke, for his part, noted that Ruthven Towers is the 13th project for which the agency has broken ground since January.
He advised that phase one of the new complexes will bring the total number of solutions on which work has commenced to approximately 3,262.
Ruthven Towers is among 5,000 housing starts that the NHT has targeted for construction and delivery by the end of the 2017/18 fiscal year, and 15,000 earmarked for development over the next three years.
Other housing developments under construction include Colbeck Castle 1 and 2 in Clarendon/St. Catherine; Longville 2A and Monymusk 2 in Clarendon; Barham, Darliston and Masemure in Westmoreland; and The Estuary and Cashew Grove in St. James.