Housing soon for tourism workers
Talks are reportedly at an advanced stage between the Jamaica Redevelopment Foundation Inc and the Jamaican Government for the acquisition of lands near Grange Pen in Lilliput, St James, to construct houses for tourism workers.
"Grange Pen is one of the informal developments within this area that has been under the Operation PRIDE programme for quite a while, and the community itself has been struggling to get itself together," Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett explained yesterday.
"But now we are going to be in one pursuit, dealing with all of those informal situations, bringing Grange Pen in line with the Lilliput development, and also to purchase the lands behind Grange Pen so that a proper housing development for tourism workers can be implemented."
He said the housing project was part of a larger thrust for infrastructural development in Lilliput.
The Lilliput Development Programme is part of a billion-dollar initiative which Prime Minister Bruce Golding authorised to improve infrastructure in communities within proximity of resort areas.
Montego Bay, St James, and Ocho Rios, St Ann, are beneficiaries of several projects to be undertaken in the first half of the Tourism Enhancement Fund-financed programme. The areas for focus in Montego Bay include Flankers, Norwood, Lilliput, Barrett Town, Barrett Hall and Long Bay.
"The critical value also of these communities, for us, is that it enhances, too, the tourism product within the area," said Bartlett.
"We are going to be spending nearly $250 million on the Elegant Corridor (in Rose Hall) to create a destination within the Jamaica destination. It cannot be that whilst we are in elegance along that corridor, the people are in hovels that live off it."
The first phase of the basic road-development programme in Lilliput is now in progress and should be completed within the next 18 months. A total of 26 roadways are to be rehabilitated.
Bartlett said the tourism housing programme is slated to commence in the third year, following the completion of designs and installation of infrastructure.