Prime minister hands over house, valued at $22.6M, to sisters in St. Mary

The tenement yard before and after construction
Prime Minister Holness (left) speaks to Shantel Farrier, daughter of one of the beneficiaries. Sharing the moment is Member of Parliament for St. Mary South Eastern, Dr. Norman Dunn.
Prime Minister Holness (right) speaks to one of the sisters, Kadian Pitter. Member of Parliament for St. Mary South Eastern, Dr. Norman Dunn, looks on.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday handed over a new multi-family house to three sisters living in Annotto Bay, St. Mary, under the programme known as HOPE (Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment).

The seaside board and zinc tenement yard, which had housed three sisters and their children, was transformed into three attached two-bedroom units with bathrooms and other amenities.

They were built at a cost of approximately $22.6 million.

Before officially handing over the units, the prime minister encouraged the three families to take care of the facility.

“This is a facility that, anywhere, would be rated as first-class, strong [and] well built – and we believe we have come in at a reasonable price,” Holness said.

He stated that the handover forms part of the housing element of the HOPE programme, on which the government will place more focus.

“We are launching, and this is evidence of it, the housing element of our social intervention – and this is the new social housing programme. Initially, we had a budget of $1 billion and that would have done over 1,000 units right across Jamaica. That was the intention. We have had to cut the budget because of the COVID situation, but we are still pressing ahead,” Prime Minister Holness said.

One of the beneficiaries, Simone Pitter, was overwhelmed when she saw that the prime minister had arrived to officially hand over the new housing solution to her.

“I would like to thank the prime minister. My sisters and I are grateful, truly grateful. Thank you,” she said.

Shantel Farrier, daughter of one of the sisters, said she is extremely happy that her family’s board house has been replaced with a concrete structure.

“My mother, Suzette Pitter, and I are glad for this wonderful home that the prime minister and others involved have given to us. We are very grateful,” added Farrier, who has been living on the land for 24 years.

Information for this story is provided by the state-owned JIS


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