Manchester families get homes
Five families in Manchester, who lived in substandard conditions, received brand new homes just in time for Christmas.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, last Friday, officially handed over keys to the units, which were built under the New Social Housing Programme (NSHP).
The beneficiaries are 69-year-old Tesselyn Roach from the Freetown district in the constituency of Manchester North West, whose house was destroyed in a fire four years ago. The fire also claimed the life of her two-year-old granddaughter. Roach cut the ribbon to a three-bedroom house.
Also in the constituency, 64-year-old Violet Johnson, whose daughter died earlier this year, will live with her four grandchildren in a three-bedroom dwelling in Comfort Hall.
In Central Manchester, two single mothers became the first recipients in the constituency under the NSHP. Stacy-Ann Stevens, a mother of five from Knockpatrick, received a three-bedroom house, and Naderia Wood from New Hall, will also be moving into a three-bedroom unit with her three children.
"I am very grateful sitting here. Sometimes it doesn't even feel like it is real," an emotional Wood told JIS News.
"I'm not even happy for myself right now... I'm happy for my kids, that they can sleep in a comfortable house and have a roof over their heads," she said. "It is the Christmas [season] and the time is cold. They don't have to feel cold like what we're experiencing where we stay right now."
Married couple from the Lancaster district in Manchester South, Telford and Yvonne Mitchell, also received a one-bedroom house.
Telford said the house in which they lived had deteriorated over time, despite their best efforts. He expressed gratitude for the new home.
"They say that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step. Today, you saw it possible to give me the first step and I will continue making the other 999," he said.
Residents from the respective communities who came out to celebrate with the new homeowners said that they were deserving of the housing assistance from the Government.
Prime Minister Holness, in his remarks at the handover ceremony in Knockpatrick, said that the positive feedback from the residents is proof that the NSHP remains credible.