More houses for Trelawny
Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
An improvement in living standards is on the cards for residents of Trelawny, with the launch of a new housing project in Tilson district, near Bounty Hall, last Friday.
The National Housing Trust (NHT) and the Ministry of Water and Housing on the weekend broke ground for 288 service lots in the community.
"Trelawny is a wonderful parish, it is beautiful here," said Howard Mitchell, chairman of NHT, "but it is also a poor parish."
Mitchell bemoaned the inability of many Jamaicans to afford houses built by the NHT, the Government's home-loan and house-building vehicle, but said the Tilson project would go a far way in providing for poor and middle-class Jamaicans.
Aim to stem squatting
With several developments on stream for Trelawny, the demand for housing is expected to increase with an influx of workers, and the NHT and housing ministry have pressed forward with housing projects to stem the incidence of squatting.
"Developments are taking place in Trelawny. They are good develop-ments and we welcome them but unless housing in Trelawny is given first priority, these developments will actually work to your detriment," Mitchell warned, as he encouraged stakeholders and residents to organise themselves.
The housing project also forms part of the NHT's efforts to provide housing solutions for sugar workers across the island. Approximately 50 per cent of the lots in Tilson will be sold to workers from the Hampden Estate, while the remainder will be made available to NHT contributors in the wider population.
Member of parliament for North Trelawny, Dr Patrick Harris, said the Tilson project suggested a proactive approach towards discouraging the mushrooming of more informal settlements.
"It is not fashionable in our present political culture to plan long term," Harris said. "It is not fashionable to look at orderly development, but in this area, we have planned it and we are now in the process of executing those plans."