Release Date: 
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 09:45

Opposition spokesperson on Infrastructural Development, Dr Horace Chang has questioned the existence of a tangible deliverable, housing policy by the Government of Jamaica. This question comes against the background of the reported resignations and administrative irregularities at the governments Housing Agency of Jamaica, the HAJ.

Dr Chang has in questioning the existence of a current housing policy, has also queried the cause behind resignations of over forty members of the established one hundred and thirty five staff at the government office best suited to deliver housing solutions alongside the recognized National Housing Trust, the NHT.

He notes that with the NHT’s commitment of eleven billion dollars per year to handle national debt payments, it is imperative that there are no hitches in the operations of sister agency, the HAJ towards meeting governments delivery of housing solutions.

This bungling at the HAJ, he believes must be linked to what he has characterized as an insensitive uncaring response to the mandate of the people of Jamaica to deliver housing solutions. If the government was serious he believed that they would ensure that there is clear defined policy, with an accompanying programme, delivering solutions, by motivated focussed leadership and efficient staff and programme officers.

These administrators he opined ought to be focussed on the delivery of housing solutions including low income units, squatter upgrades and housing upgrades and also crafting an active public private partnership, given a clear shortage of some one hundred thousand units to meet current national housing needs. This means, that you MUST, he emphasized, be delivering at least ten thousand units per annum, to bridge the gap and thereby cover the backlog and current housing demands.

The sooner this turmoil at the HAJ is resolved, Dr Chang observed, it will signal a capability of the Government  to respond, at a time where with scarce resources, the imperative must be, to be strategically efficient , in order to negotiate the delivery of responsive programmes to meet the housing needs of our citizens.