Boscobel residents want comfort in the hills

July 15, 2016
In this 2014 file photo, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies (then Minister of Transport, Works and Housing) cuts the ribbon to a two-bedroom model unit situated in the Hills of Boscobel development in St. Mary, to mark the official hand over of the units to their new owners.

Members of the Hills of Boscobel community in St. Mary say they have been unable to enjoy the benefit of their investment because of the failure of the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) to ensure the housing development is completed.

Stephanie Hamilton, president of the Hills of Boscobel Citizens Association, expressed concern to THE WEEKEND STAR that several issues that the community faces will not be addressed in a timely manner.

A chief concern raised by Hamilton is that the residents have not been able to access individual meters to be billed by the National Water Commission because the HAJ is still responsible for the community's water because construction is ongoing.

"Last year, we had to go without water for days because they didn't pay the bill, so we are now worried that if the bill comes back very high, this will happen again," she said.

Hamilton also told THE WEEKEND STAR that some residents have had to contend with the seeping of raw sewage into their homes.

"There has been a pump issue for months so residents on the lower end of the community have had to deal with sewage flooding their yard," she explained.

Residents are also advocating for a public road to be built for them to travel into their community which is located in the hills overlooking the Ian Fleming International Airport.

"The road that we drive to go home now is owned by someone and he has blocked the road a few times when he is upset with the HAJ," explained Hamilton.

"There was hilly terrain so now our kids still don't have an area to play in, and we have nowhere to meet," she added.

Hamilton is calling on the HAJ to deliver a timeline for when the housing solution would be completed.

Councillor Fitzroy Wilson, who represents the Boscobel Division, said although he understands the grievances of the residents, the HAJ has been cash strapped which hinders their ability to respond quickly.

The HAJ, which was established to provide low-income housing solutions for Jamaicans, has over the past three years reported losses of over $2 billion.

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