Sat | Jan 28, 2023

Holness hands over social housing units to families in St James

Published:Saturday | November 26, 2022 | 11:49 AM
He congratulated the latest group of beneficiaries, and urged them to commit to maintaining the social contract which they signed on receiving the keys to their homes. - JIS photo

Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, on Friday, handed over five units, built under the New Social Housing Programme (NSHP), to families in several communities across St James.

Keys were presented to beneficiaries in Norwood, Salt Spring, Lottery and Canaan.

The houses comprised three 3-bedroom units, a two-bedroom unit and a one-bedroom unit.

Friday's presentations marked the delivery of 119 houses under the NSHP, since its establishment by Prime Minister Holness in 2018 as a component of the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme.

The initiative aims to improve the living conditions of Jamaica's most vulnerable citizens by providing quality, affordable and sustainable housing.

All 63 Members of Parliament are allowed to submit the names of five persons in their respective constituencies for support under the programme, which translates to approximately 315 housing units per annum.

Holness, in his address during the presentation ceremony in Salt Spring, emphasised that the process for selecting NSHP beneficiaries is transparent.

He pointed out that in addition to living in dilapidated housing, persons must meet other criteria to be deemed eligible.

Holness said consideration is given to, among other factors, persons who are unemployed with no prospect of income, and those with severe health issues.

“What we're trying to do is to provide social housing according to the laws of Jamaica. So, I want to assure Jamaica that there is no favouritism, skulduggery or cronyism being applied in the distribution of these houses. Every dollar of this programme goes into the houses and is efficiently used. It's an open programme that can be scrutinised; it is a transparent process,” Holness underscored.

He congratulated the latest group of beneficiaries, and urged them to commit to maintaining the social contract which they signed on receiving the keys to their homes.

Prime Minister Holness further encouraged them to protect and build on the assets they received.

Beneficiary, Diana Allen, told JIS News that she felt great knowing that herself and her physical disabled brother now have a two-bedroom house to call home, after living in dilapidated conditions for decades.

“Things were never that easy; but we tried to make it better. He is blind, can't talk and [is deaf]. So, thanks to Mr Andrew Holness,[St. James Central Member of Parliament] Heroy Clarke, and all those who made it possible for him,” she said.

Barrington and Charmaine Brown of Lottery were equally ecstatic to move into their new home with their two children.

“We have a nice, beautiful home, and it's a more [spacious] and better environment for our kids,” said Brown.

-JIS News

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