Jamaica to Launch Housing Drive as Part of Emergency Job Programme

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Above: Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in Parliament Tuesday (JIS Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The next phase of Jamaica’s JEEP emergency jobs plan, which the country’s government says has already created 5,800 jobs, will be headlined by a housing drive for Jamaicans living in poverty.

Jamaica’s government will work with the Ministry of Housing, the National Trust and Food for the Poor to create 1,200 residential units for Jamaicans each year for a five-year period.

“We are combining state resources with private investment to achieve economic growth to improve living conditions and to train and employ workers,” Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said.

The JEEP plan, which was launched by Simpson Miller in March, has as one of its aims a response to the chronically high unemployment of some Jamaicans, particularly at lower socioeconomic strata.

The housing programme will target those earning between $5,000 and $7,000 Jamaican dollars, or between $57 and $80, per week.

The beneficiaries will be identified through the country’s National Housing Trust, with land for the housing units coming from either the beneficiaries themselves or existing government land.

Last month, the JEEP plan received an $11.5 million grant from the PetroCaribe Fund. That grant will take effect during the 2012/2013 fiscal year.

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