Minister of Housing and Lands, Michael Lashley (left), takes a look at the plans for the new housing units at Stuart’s Lodge, Tweedside Road. Also pictured are Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy (third left) and other officials.

Minister of Housing and Lands, Michael Lashley, has announced a new set of guidelines to oversee government’s joint venture housing partnerships with the private sector.

He explained that the developer would be provided with a license to improve the lands and construct the houses and he/she must put a bond in place for not less than ten percent of the market value of the contract signed.

Minister Lashley was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for 20 housing units at Stuart’s Lodge, Tweedside Road, St. Michael earlier this week.

He added that the developer would be responsible for making good all defects one year after the handover of the units. The legal title to the land during construction of the house shall be retained by the National Housing Corporation (NHC).

Mr. Lashley further said that the developer would provide, among other things, insurance coverage of the project, and must determine a payment schedule before its commencement.

In addition, the Housing Minister stated that the NHC would monitor, on a weekly basis, the progress of the construction and the developer must submit weekly reports to that body.

Minister Lashley also said that lower-middle and middle income earners could now look forward to being assisted in their quest to find a home.

According to him, Coverley Phase Three was one such project, which had already been approved by the Cabinet.

"We recognise that those in the middle and lower-middle income groups are paying rent, some can’t afford a mortgage, and some are young professionals now entering into their chosen field and would have to be taken care of by this administration," he explained.

Mr. Lashley also revealed that his Ministry, in collaboration with the NHC, was working to ensure that all tenants who qualify under the 20 year programme were able to receive their titles are quickly as possible.

"We intend to take these recommendations to Cabinet so that the process of getting those Conveyances ready to be handed over in a swift manner.?? I am also pleased to announce that some Conveyances are now ready to deliver to tenants," he stated.

He said a draft plan was also being put in place for the establishment of tenants’ associations to be the voice of persons living in the housing estates.

"…For too long I have been receiving complaints from tenants about not getting doors or windows fixed or replaced for over a year; and so management has been mandated to look at ways and means of how we can counter these problems and improve our relationships as a Corporation with those tenants," he remarked.

The launch at Stuart’s Lodge is part of the NHC’s Housing Every Last Person (HELP) Programme. ??

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