For Immediate Release
Ellerslie Pen, St Catherine – May 24, 2017: Food For The Poor (FFP) Jamaica has noted the comments made in today’s sitting of Parliament’s Infrastructure and Physical Development Committee regarding the increase in the cost per unit to build a house under the Government’s Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme.
The following is a statement from the organisation:
“We are deeply concerned regarding a comment by Mr. Leslie Campbell, MP for Northeast St. Catherine, who stated that ‘there is absolutely no justification’ for the cost of building the unit. We would like to remind the relevant authorities that the sole interest of FFP is to build houses and otherwise engage in activities for the benefit of Jamaica’s less fortunate.
“Indeed, it is for this reason that FFP agreed to be a 50 per cent funder in partnership with the Government to alleviate the poor living conditions of vulnerable Jamaicans and in the process, FFP further agreed to share its efficient construction processes with the Government at no cost. We do hope that the media reports are not indicative of an official stance in the matter, as FFP has received no notice from the Government.
“With regard to a comment about termites, we have received no complaint of this nature, having constructed 4,130 housing units under this project. In fact, upon completion of construction by FFP, the Government is required to certify that the house is completed. The contract states that The Housing Agency of Jamaica Limited (HAJL) is the ‘implementing agency’ and provides ‘infrastructure works’ as well as ‘management and supervisory services to the Government …for the construct of the wooden houses under this Agreement’
“For MP Mikhail Phillips to state that the loft of our two-bedroom unit is cold, provides clear evidence that some MPs are unaware that FFP has built units where recipients had no roof to protect them from rain. Which is colder?
“We resolve with or without the Government of Jamaica of either party to continue unimpeded in our mission of independently building houses and serving our indigent Jamaican sisters and brothers.”