Three families from Goodwin Park Road in Campbell Town, Central Kingston, whose houses were destroyed by fire in 2020, are now proud new homeowners.
Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, on Friday (April 28), handed over a one bedroom and two, three-bedroom units valued at $17.2 million, to Lloyd White, Lesa Brown, and Leisha Brown, respectively.
The houses were built under the Government’s New Social Housing Programme (NSHP).
The one bedroom was constructed at a cost of $4.6 million, while the three bedrooms cost approximately $6.3 million each.
Addressing the handover ceremony, Prime Minister Holness said the units will improve the living conditions of the beneficiaries and assist in breaking the cycle of inter-generational poverty.
White had resorted to living in an old, abandoned vehicle in the area after the fire.
“These households now have the benefit of proper housing but more than that, they now have an asset…there is a base from which their children can build,” the Prime Minister said.
He noted that the units will also provide privacy and security to the families especially against the elements of the weather.
Prime Minister Holness said the beneficiaries were selected based on need. “Absolutely no political affiliation was considered. They were selected not because of who they know or what connections they had. There was a genuine need that was well established and transparently established,” he noted.
He pointed out that one of the buildings, which was two storeys, will accommodate two families. “I believe this is the first time we are doing two storeys so we are utilising the land space more efficiently, and we would use this as the test case because the beneficiaries are related,” Holness said.
The Prime Minister implored the beneficiaries to adhere to their commitments under the social contract to maintain the properties and become good ambassadors for the NSHP.
Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, Donovan Williams, lauded Prime Minister Holness for implementing the programme to benefit the most vulnerable Jamaicans.
“We really appreciate this initiative,” he said, noting that the programme will improve the living conditions of the beneficiaries.
The new homeowners expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister, the Member of Parliament and all the parties who played a significant role in enabling them to acquire the housing units.