PM hands over new houses to St Mary sisters
Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Thursday handed over a new multifamily house to three sisters living in Annotto Bay, St Mary, under the social-housing component of the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme.
The seaside board-and-zinc tenement yard that had housed the three sisters and their children was transformed into three attached two-bedroom units with bathrooms and other amenities at a cost of approximately $22.6 million.
Before officially handing over the units, Holness encouraged the three families to take care of the facility.
“This is a facility that, anywhere, would be rated as first-class, strong, [and] well-built, and we believe we have come in at a reasonable price,” Holness said.
He said the handover forms part of the housing element of the HOPE Programme, on which the Government will place more focus.
“We are launching – and this is evidence of it – the housing element of our social intervention, and this is the new social-housing programme. Initially, we had a budget of $1 billion, and that would have done over 1,000 units right across Jamaica. That was the intention. We have had to cut the budget because of the COVID situation, but we are still pressing ahead,” Holness said.
One of the beneficiaries, Simone Pitter, was overwhelmed when she saw that the prime minister had arrived to officially hand over the new housing solution to her.
“I would like to thank the prime minister. My sisters and I are grateful, truly grateful. Thank you,” she simply said.
A daughter of one of the sisters, Shantel Farrier, said she was extremely happy about the new housing solution her family has received.
“My mother, Suzette Pitter, and I are glad for this wonderful home that the prime minister and others involved have given to us. We are very grateful,” Farrier, who has been living on the land for the last 24 years, said.
Farrier is also elated that their board house had been upgraded to a concrete structure.