16,000 PRIDE lots by Sept - PM
June 28, 2002
By Denise Clarke, Staff Reporter
PRIME MINISTER P.J. Patterson has ordered that an additional 16,000 lots be made available under the Operation PRIDE housing programme by September.
He made this announcement yesterday, as he handed over more than 2,000 lots, some costing as low as $10,000, to beneficiaries in the Norwood community of St. James.
"They can cuss me all they like, they can abuse me as they like, but nothing will stop me from putting more land into the hands of our people," Mr. Patterson declared.
The target, he said, is to transfer more than 30,000 lots on 72 PRIDE sites by September. A total of 13,653 persons have benefited from 35 projects so far.
He again hit out at critics of the programme and said some people were resentful of the Government's efforts to expand the 'propertied class' in the country.
"No conspiracy or attempt to degrade the Government's efforts to make land and shelter affordable to you, will derail our determination to provide land for the landless and build houses for the homeless," the Prime Minister said.
He maintained that the Government was not giving handouts. The beneficiaries at Norwood would be expected to pay for the lots, but adjustments would be made according to income level.
Milverton Reynolds, managing director of the National Housing Development Corporation, which manages the Operation PRIDE programme, said confidence in PRIDE had never been higher. He disclosed that more $500 million in contributions had been paid to the programme as at May 31, 2002