Sun | Nov 17, 2019

Housing solutions needed in NE and SE St Ann

Published:Friday | October 18, 2019 | 12:26 AM

An open letter to Pearnel Charles Jr:

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I want to congratulate the Andrew Holness administration on their work on infrastructure, especially housing. I am a citizen of the garden parish of St Ann. For over the past five years I’ve seen National Housing Trust (NHT) housing solutions in northwest and southwest St Ann but haven’t seen any in southeast and northeast St Ann.

We have too many hard-working persons in the tourism and security sectors who are qualified for a NHT loan but just can’t take any due to the very expensive lands down this side. The cheapest I can see a good piece of land on this side of Jamaica is $3 million. Most, if not all, landowners still want a down payment of at least $500,000, even if you’re qualified for a NHT loan.

Squatting in St Ann is very high because most young professionals can’t afford these expensive lands, much less the expensive private schemes. I strongly believe the days of getting 100 acres of land to build many NHT housing solutions should be a thing of the past. 15 acres of land can hold over 200 housing solutions if we’re smart. We can build three-storey buildings with one to two bedrooms on the building. You could have a pool and playing area for the kids on the apartment complex.

I know many will argue that these types of housing solutions aren’t practical for most Jamaicans because many like to have the freedom to turn up their sound box or even to quarrel loud, but apartment-style projects like these will force persons to love each other.

A lot of lands in St Ann that have been squatted on for over 25 years should be formalised, or affordable relocation should be facilitated.

TEDDYLEE GRAY

Ocho Rios, St Ann

teddylee.gray@gmail.com