35 homes to be built for needy families by end of March

Minister of Community Development Desmond McKenzie (second right) breaks ground for the construction of a house for a needy family in Anchovy, Portland, on Tuesday (January 7). Others (from left) are Councillor for the Port Antonio Division, Dexter Rowland; Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Paul Thompson; and Member of Parliament for Eastern Portland, Ann-Marie Vaz. (Photo: Rudranath Fraser, JIS)

Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie says that 35 houses will be delivered to indigent persons by the end of the financial year on March 31.

“We are making a difference; we will continue to improve the infrastructure for those who are in need,” the minister said, adding that the Poor Relief Department is being strengthened to improve service delivery.

He was speaking at the ceremony to break ground for the construction of a house for a needy family in Anchovy, Portland, on Tuesday (January 7).

Minister McKenzie converses with Everald Gibson (centre) of Long Road in Portland, while his wife Hazel looks on. (Photo: Rudranath Fraser, JIS)

The dwelling is among two to be built in the parish over the next two months at a total cost of $4.6 million.

The other unit, to be constructed at Long Road, will bring the number of houses delivered to beneficiaries across the island to date to 29.

Construction of the other six will commence soon.

Minister McKenzie, who travelled to Long Road for the ground breaking, said that the indigent housing project is one way in which the country is showing appreciation to persons who have made significant contribution to the society and have fallen on hard times.

“I am encouraging the community to support them and to work with them and ensure that these houses that we are putting up, they will enjoy it to the maximum,” he said.

Minister McKenzie, joined by Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Paul Thompson; and Member of Parliament for Eastern Portland, Ann-Marie Vaz, to break ground for the construction of a house for a needy family in the community of Long Road, Portland, on Tuesday (January 7).(Photo: Rudranath Fraser, JIS)

Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Paul Thompson, said the houses will provide relief to the two families, while Member of Parliament for Eastern Portland, Ann-Marie Vaz, said she was delighted that the beneficiaries will now have a place to call home.

The units will be fully furnished and fitted with 1,000-gallon water storage tanks.

JIS