Current Affairs

Current Affairs




NHT to phase out studio units
Observer Reporter
Tuesday, February 11, 2003

A set of NHT studio units in Greater Portmore. (Observer file photo)

THE National Housing Trust (NHT) says it will soon be introducing a new housing type housing design, which would be more spacious and cost-effective than the studio units currently being marketed.

NHT chairman, Kingsley Thomas, made the anouncement last week at a function to launch the reorganised NHT Best Schemes Competition at the Ruins in Ocho Rios, St Ann.

Thomas said that while the NHT studio unit provided an essential first step to home ownership in the 1990s, cost increases overtime had led to the units becoming a less attractive housing option.

"For larger families, a studio in which mother, father and children all live is not conducive to the creation of the quality society to which we all aspire. As a result, the NHT has been searching for a solution which would solve the problems of space and affordability," the NHT chairman said.

Thomas also hinted that in the future, Jamaicans benefitting from the NHT house would have to sacrifice their desire for their own yard space in order to enjoy bigger living quarters. The new look housing, be hinted, would be of the multi-storied type with more green space for communal relaxation.

Most of the NHT's studio unit, commonly called the quad, were built in Greater Portmore, St Catherine. However, most of the owners have converted them to three and four bedroom houses. A number have also added a storey to the structure.

Thomas has, in the meanwhile, also urged residents of NHT schemes across the island to place greater emphasis on obeying local residential ordinances and on developing projects to enhance community life. The NHT best schemes competition, he said, was being re-introduced after a short break to provide a context within which these development projects can take place.

The competition which will be judged at the end of 2003, will assess schemes on the basis of their up-to-date mortgage payment, environmental and beautification programmes and other activity which demonstrate sound community management principles.