A 95-year-old resident of Mendez district in Point Hill, St Catherine, is expressing joy for a new house she received from Government.
Nora Johnson’s standard of living is expected to improve significantly with the building she got under the Indigent Housing Programme.
“I feel happy and I feel proud. I appreciate it and I am glad. I am thankful for it,” she said.
Johnson stated that the concrete studio unit, which comprises a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, properly protects her from the rain.
“No rain wetting me again [and] no water coming in,” she told the state-owned Jamaica Information Service moments after a handing over ceremony, which was held in her community on Monday, October 7.
The previous house, which was erected on the same property that Johnson occupies for many years, had fallen into disrepair.
Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, presented Johnson with the keys to the new dwelling.
He noted that a new feature of the latest house constructed is the installation of a water tank, which will be replicated for all units to be built across the island.
The programme from which Johnson benefited provides modern concrete homes for indigent persons living outside the infirmary system.
McKenzie said there are 14,000 registered poor across the country. He added that a significant number of them ‘fall well below the level that they can find housing solutions for themselves’.
McKenzie added: “Outside of building these units, the Government, through the Ministry, has provided an additional $20 million to be shared across each municipality for the poor relief officers to carry out repairs to houses that are occupied by registered poor.”
Beneficiaries are chosen following a needs-based investigation by the Poor Relief Department in each parish, through which indigent housing is channeled.
An investigation is carried out for persons who apply or persons who are already within the system and are in need of housing.
The Poor Relief Department falls under the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development.
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