ST. CATHERINE, Jamaica (Tuesday, December 7, 2021) — Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, says nearly 22,000 new housing solutions are guaranteed to be provided, over the next two to three years, by the National Housing Trust (NHT).
He added that the entity currently has 12,019 units under construction, costing upwards of $100 billon.
Additionally, the Prime Minister said the NHT has another 9,641 units in the planning stage, which are projected to cost some $95 billion.
“So what you [will] have is a flow. So when that 12,019 now under construction [are complete], you will have a replacement from those moving out of planning… and that’s in the pipeline,” Holness said.
He was speaking, during the handover ceremony for 110 single-storey two-bedroom duplex units, which were developed by the NHT, at Twickenham Glades, St. Catherine, on Wednesday, December 1.
Prime Minister Holness said the 12,019 solutions represent the most the NHT has ever had under construction for any single period, noting that more than 95 percent of these will be affordable to low-income earners.
While acknowledging that the nearly 22,000 programmed developments are not enough to meet the housing demand, he maintained that “[they are] going to take us a far way to the solution”.
Holness, who has portfolio responsibility for the Trust, commended the entity for fulfilling its mandate to build houses for Jamaicans, adding that, “when it comes to driving economic growth through housing, the expenditure of the NHT is significant”.
Twickenham Glades was developed on five hectares (12.21 acres) of land, located along the westbound side of Mandela Highway, in Twickenham Park.
It was also disclosed that the NHT is slated to spend a record $57.7 billion on the provision of housing solutions this year.
NHT Board Member, Nesta-Claire Hunter, who represented Board Chairman, Lennox Channer, at the event, said that the sum is the largest programmed expenditure in the entity’s 45-year history.
“This means construction of quality and affordable housing solutions, at an even faster pace, with the possibility of even more Jamaicans being able to experience the joys of homeownership,” Hunter added.
Hunter also advised that the NHT has surpassed the minimum 23,000 housing starts that were targeted for delivery, by March 2021.
“This year, we expect a further 8,500 housing solutions, and for the parish of St. Catherine, the second largest parish, we have another upcoming 3,984 housing solutions scheduled over the next three years,” she added.
Hunter said the NHT is also seized of the importance of facilitating the establishment of modern, suitable, safe, and functional communities.
“This is why we have outfitted this community [Twickenham Glades] and [other similar] communities with certain physical infrastructure and social amenities, as well as areas earmarked for community recreation,” she informed.
She also underscored that it has become increasingly important “that we understand how we impact our world, and that is why we have invested in research of alternative building materials to ease the burden on the environment and create more affordable housing solutions for our contributors”.
Noting that Twickenham Glades is an “expertly designed scheme”, Hunter said it is evident that significant time, commitment and effort were invested in transforming the land, on which the development is located, into the resulting community.
She pointed out that this would not have been possible without key partnerships, and thanked the various stakeholders for contributing to the project’s realisation.
Hunter said Twickenham Glades “already has the makings of a great community”, and expressed the hope that “this space fills you [the beneficiaries] with pride, whenever you think about home.
“I, therefore, encourage you to utilise the investment wisely to the benefit of yourselves, your families, your community, and your nation.”