NHT on track for 15,000 - Clarke
Chairman of the National Housing Trust (NHT) Dr Nigel Clarke is on course to achieving and possible surpassing its mandate of 15,000 housing solutions by 2020.
"Between 2000 and now, there is no year where the number of NHT housing solutions have been more than we have done for the nine months of this year," Clarke said last Friday during a handover ceremony for 44 NHT two bedroom town houses in the new Berkshire Court Housing Development on Brunswick Avenue in Spanish Town, St Catherine,
According to Clarke, the NHT has done 3,000 housing solutions for the first nine months of this year.
"And when the year is finished, we will be at 5,500 housing solutions. You would have to go back 20 years to find a year when the NHT would have done more," added Clarke.
He said because of the processes involved, which often led to time constraints in actualising a development, the NHT, under the procurement reforms, will be seeking out private developers to develop projects and finance them in order to speed up the process, while protecting the integrity of the system.
The Berkshire Court Housing Development was completed at a cost of $906.5 million and forms part of the NHT four-year housing programme.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who also addressed the handover ceremony last Friday, has repeatedly argued that the NHT is far advanced in plan to increase the delivery of housing solutions while making it easier for small wage earners to access funds for home building.
"The NHT is doing all that it can to make home ownership much easier, and we are going to reach the point in Jamaica where the cost of squatting will be higher than the cost of acquiring your legal home," Holness declared recently.
"We are widening the reach of the NHT (by) increasing the allocation to ensure that all Jamaicans have a housing solution," vowed Holness, who has ministerial responsibility for the NHT.