New homeowner Carl Padmore (left) and??his mother Marcia Padmore, receiving their keys from??Prime Minister David Thompson and Minister of Housing and Lands, Michael Lashley, at Marchfield, St. Philip, yesterday. (Image: C. Pitt/BGIS)

Thirty families yesterday secured keys to their new homes at Marchfield, Six Roads, St. Philip, as part of Government’s Housing Every Last Person Programme (HELP).

Minister of Housing and Lands, Michael Lashley, while delivering the feature address at the handing-over ceremony, congratulated CRS, Caribbean Management

and Construction Limited and the staff of the National Housing Corporation (NHC), for their "outstanding workmanship".?? He reported that the project, consisting 30 houses, had been completed with no cost overruns, to the benefit of persons from all walks of life.?? ??

"This project results in tremendous savings to homeowners… When we compare [it] to a similar [one] in the private sector, these houses are far more economical and results in the average saving of $58,000 to each homeowner," Minister Lashley indicated.

While reaffirming Government’s commitment to the growth and development of small enterprises and the creation of jobs, the Housing Minister pointed out that the NHC was currently in the final stages of negotiating a $40M revolving loan fund.?? This, he said, would result in the hiring of additional small contractors to construct houses at Parish Land in St. Philip, Walkers in St. Andrew, Spring Garden in St. Lucy and Vauxhall in Christ Church, among other areas.??

"We have employed small contractors on the Constant housing project, St. George… Depeiza Construction Inc., Associated Design and Construction Management and Builders Inc., Dave’s Builders Ltd. and Bzee B Builders Inc.?? Further, at Tweedside Road, St. Michael, ADC, the main contractor has employed small sub-contractors for example, Sea Island Builders, Baptiste Boys, O’neil Construction and finally at

Coverely, Christ Church, the main contractor employed 42 small sub-contractors," Mr. Lashley emphasised.

Sixteen of the island’s latest homeowners were presented with their keys by Prime Minister David Thompson and Minister Lashley.?? According to Carl Padmore, of Lot 3, the long wait was now over for himself, his mother, Marcia Padmore and his new neighbours.

"There are many moments in a person’s life that bring joy…?? However, probably from the time of man’s early civilisation, to own the roof above one’s head has to be the greatest joy of all.?? The joy of having a set of keys to my own home, after over a decade of waiting, has served to etch in my mind the role and function of Government.?? I am a teacher by profession and have always held dear to my heart the opportunity to invest in this rock.?? Tonight that …became a reality," Mr. Padmore stated.

Performers included Tanya Clark, Junior Williams, Stedson ???Red Plastic Bag’ Wiltshire and the Bayley’s and Gordon Walters Primary School Choirs.??

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