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NHT chairman defends Outameni purchase at press conference

Published:Monday | November 24, 2014 | 2:07 PM

Chairman of the National Housing Trust, Easton Douglas, has continued to defend the state agency's purchase of the Outameni property in Trelawny.

Douglas was speaking at a press conference now underway at Jamaica House.

The NHT board has been under fire for spending more than $180 million to buy Outameni.

Douglas says the board carried out its duties consistent with the NHT Act.

He explained that the NHT board has approved the purchase of the Orange Grove property, specifically lands and buildings.

The NHT chairman conceded he may not have properly explained the distinction between 'the Outameni business' and the 'Orange Grove property'.

He reiterated that the purchase was a good one and he will not resign over the controversy neither will that board members Norman Horne, Percival LaTouche and O'Neil Grant.

Reporters were told that the Orange Grove acquisition has zero impact on the NHT housing budget as the property was bought with money slated for investment.

Meanwhile, the NHT chairman said the board never informed the PM about the Outmeni purchase because it had not been the practice of the NHT for its 38 years in existence.