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NHT used residential land to build Trelawny Stadium

Published:Friday | April 24, 2015 | 4:00 AM
Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis.

THE NEARLY 120-acre property now housing the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium was earmarked by the National Housing Trust (NHT) for residential development.

This revelation is contained in a performance audit of the NHT conducted by Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis.

The trust purchased 119.56 acres of land in Florence Hall, Trelawny, for $14 million in March 1997 for housing development.

However, little more than half of the land was used to construct the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium.

"Despite our request, NHT did not indicate the terms, conditions and consideration which resulted in the facilities being built on the property," Monroe Ellis noted.

acres sold

In September 2006, the trust sold 1.06 acres of the land to the commissioner of lands for $1 to extend the North Coast Highway.

Monroe Ellis said another 6.14 acres of land from the same property have been earmarked for a proposed multi-purpose courts and reservoir, leaving only 45 acres or 38 per cent of the land available to the NHT for possible housing development.

However, the trust told the oversight body that a development plan had not been drafted for the remainder of the land.

Meanwhile, the auditor general has revealed that the trust has no plans for development of 28 parcels of land acquired for $2.27 billion.

"NHT would have to incur exorbitant development costs to enable construction of housing solutions for 15 parcels of land acquired for $1.38 billion," the auditor general noted.

According to Monroe Ellis, the price of housing solutions built on these lands could prove prohibitive to contributors and remain unsold for long periods.

In addition, the auditor general has chided the NHT for spending $342.6 million on six parcels of land without first determining the designation of the lands' use. According to Monroe Ellis, the trust was unable to pursue housing solutions on the properties, as the designation of the lands' use would have to be changed from agricultural to residential.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com