Dream come true for new Majesty Gardens homeowners
Yesterday, 32 National Housing Trust (NHT) contributors officially changed their status to homeowners at the handover ceremony for the Majesty Gardens Phase 1A development in St Andrew.
Among them was Hopeton Gray, a 50-year-old janitor, whose two-bedroom house was destroyed in a fire two years ago. For him, being an official homeowner is a dream come true.
"A lot of people don't get this opportunity when yuh reach certain age. Life was rough because I lose a two-bedroom house in a fire a few years aback same place in this community. Mi capture a piece a land and build back a house but I know that mi did want something more steady fi mi and mi family," he said.
He smiled and breathed a sigh of relief as he told THE STAR that he has finally set a foundation for his two children who will no longer have to live on squatter's quarters.
"Mi nuh want dem to live the life weh mi live and face the struggles suh mi really happy say dem gonna have something after mi gone," he said.
The units comprise of 24 studios, four one-bedroom and two two-storey, three-bedroom units. Majesty Gardens Phase 1A was developed under the NHT's Community Renewal Programme, which is an outgrowth of the NHT's Inner-City Housing Project.
Also a janitor, Dennis Carvey, 62, said his one-bedroom dwelling is a massive upgrade to his former home.
"Mi feel really good because the one weh mi did live inna did miserable and stay bad. There were times when we nuh have no water and sometimes light gone because mi couldn't buy it because a buy we buy it here. When di 'bandoolo' one gone too, we have to stay in di dark," Carvey said.
He will be sharing his new house with his common-law wife and their two children. However, he has plans to expand.
"Mi a go work and gwan save suh mi can do an addition because is mi and mi wife and two children. It is a studio but mi really glad for it," he said.
During the ceremony, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said three of the 32 units have been allocated to the New Social Housing Programme and the remaining 29 were distributed to eligible NHT contributors.
"With respect to the 29 successful beneficiaries, 51 per cent of the selectees are women and 31 per cent of the total number of selectees fall within the age range 19 to 40 years. Fifty-five per cent are within the age range 41 to 60. Within the income range, 28 of the 29 fall within the income band minimum wage to $30,000 per week," he said.
He stated that the units are being sold at a very reasonable price.
"The studios are being sold for $4.8 million and the one-bedroom for $6 million. The two-storey unit goes for $8.9 million. It should be noted however, that these prices have been subsidised by the NHT," he said.