Gov’t to rev up housing construction in new fiscal year

Governor-General Si Patrick Allen.

More than 10,000 housing starts are slated for the new fiscal year as the Government continues to accelerate the delivery of housing solutions for Jamaicans.

The projects will be undertaken by the National Housing Trust (NHT) and the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ). Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen made the disclosure while delivering the 2020/2021 Throne Speech at the ceremonial opening of Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 11).

Speaking under the theme ‘Towards a Decade of Growth to Anchor Our Peace and Prosperity’, Allen noted that housing remains a key priority for the Government in keeping with the Vision 2030 plan, which states that every Jamaican should have access to safe, sustainable and affordable housing.

“We need to build enough housing solutions at a rate which will prevent informal settling,” he said. The Governor-General noted that the NHT has implemented several strategies in keeping with the Government’s continued drive to improve access to loans and provide support for homeownership. These include widening the income bands, increasing the loan limit, introducing intergenerational mortgages, and reducing the interest rate on mortgages by one per cent across the board.

Turning to other measures to improve access to housing for Jamaicans, the Governor-General said that the administrative phase of the Government’s new Social Housing Programme has been completed and will commence full roll-out in short order. The programme seeks to provide indigent housing, relocate vulnerable communities and upgrade tenements.

The new fiscal year begins on April 1.