PM assures that Gov’t has strategy to reduce housing demand Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has indicated that the Government will be able to reduce the need for housing locally by targeting low-income earners.

The Government is on a thrust to build 70,000 houses, but Holness admits that that number of houses will not sufficiently fill the demand for houses across the island.

“I want you to understand that the Government has a strategy in place to get ahead of the demand for housing,” stated Holness.

He was speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for Victoria Palms Housing Development in Denham Town, West Kingston on Friday.

According to Holness, part of the Government’s strategy is to gather information from the Population and Housing Census that is to get under way this month, on the housing needs of citizens.

“We have rough estimates as to what the housing deficit is, but I can say to you, that the 70,000 houses will not quench, totally, the thirst for housing, but will go a far way,” he declared.

“We’re expecting that if we target it (housing) to those with no income at all, those who are working-class, low-income, and those who are lower middle-income, then we would have solved a large part of the problem,” Holness insisted.

He said persons who are in the middle, upper and higher-income categories will be able to “focus on the already well-working housing market” locally.

“So, they can buy, and as more people enter the market, the prices (for houses) will go down as competition increases.

“Government will facilitate by making mortgages available at reasonable rates, and by releasing land to the private sector, so that they can develop the lands for housing,” the prime minister stated.

Meanwhile, the multiple-storey housing units that are to be build under the Government’s New Social Housing Programme (NSHP) at Victoria Palms Housing Development, are to be leased to the residents.

“There will be certain undertakings that the persons who will benefit from these homes will have to sign on to, because these houses will not be entitled to them,” Holness explained.

“They will be able to live in them under a lease, but these leases will have conditions of use. So this is not housing you can just sell as you like.

“These houses are, as I have indicated before, that under the New Social Housing Programme, we’re coming with different modalities of providing social housing, and this now is the launch of a new modality,” said Holness.

Construction work under the $71 million housing project is expected to last for nine months in the initial phase when 12 units are slated for completion.

The prime minister said it is expected that 20 units will be built on the site overall.