Holness promises more low-cost houses for St MaryThursday, July 22, 2021
BY HORACE MILLS
GALINA, St Mary — A 300-unit development will be built in St Mary soon as part of efforts to address squatting by providing affordable housing. This was announced by Prime Minister Andrew Holness during a recent visit to the north-eastern parish.
“One of the things I want to point out, since I am in a housing development area, is that we intend to do more housing developments in St Mary,” said Holness while formally opening the rehabilitated Lighthouse Road at Galina.
The housing project, which will be implemented by the National Housing Trust (NHT), will be located across from Lighthouse Road.
“[It] will give more housing opportunities for persons. I know this has been a preferred area of informal settlement, but you will have the opportunity to be able to purchase a home that you can afford within proximity to this area,” added Holness.
According to Holness, the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) “continues to work in [the Lighthouse Road] area to ensure that persons who have settled here are properly regularised”.
Councillor for the area Sheldon Kidd is hopeful that existing squatters will soon become legal land owners. Efforts are also being made to prevent further squatting.
“You have the HAJ project, which is to regularise the squatter settlement or the informal housing development in Lighthouse Road. HAJ has come, and they have done their survey. They have marked out the areas that are supposed to be roads and they have established boundaries,” said Kidd.
“As such, they have asked that no other community member builds in areas where the roadway is to be. Very soon after regularisation is complete, the people will be getting the titles for the place that they have informally occupied for many years,” added Kidd as he indicated his pleasure with the work being done by that Government to increase the housing stock in the Oracabessa Division, which he represents.
Kidd also expressed hope that young people in the division will capitalise on the opportunity to become home owners.
“Some lots and housing units will be built. I was told that is supposed to be implemented next year. A number of young persons have started their families and are ambitious,” he told the Jamaica Observer in providing additional information on the NHT project across from Lighthouse Road.
“However, they can't get anywhere to live, not because they can't afford same, but because the units and the lots are not vailable,” said Kidd.
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