People have a right to adequate housing according to article 25(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “everyone has a right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself, and his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in the circumstances beyond his control.” This fact is far from the truth in Jamaica, as the government faces challenges and problems providing sufficient and affordable housing for its people. The reasons range from low-income earners to the increased demand for housing facilities, which will be highlighted in detail.
The first problem the government faces is the ever-increasing housing prices compared to their government’s earnings. Housing doesn’t mean having a roof on one’s head but rather the environment one stays in. There should be infrastructure, proper sanitization, a constant supply of water, and general peace. This makes it quite expensive for the government since they have low returns. This is due to the increased unemployment and poverty levels of its population.
Secondly, increased unreasonable land prices pose a challenge to the government. With the , it won’t be easy to acquire enough housing development. This will only benefit a specific population making it difficult to choose who will receive what. Land acquisition is a never-ending process if the seller poses difficulty causing the project to lag.
Furthermore, the high cost of building materials creates problems for the government. The private sector has higher prices for their commodities; for example, roofing materials, cement, wood, etc., the government face a challenge in negotiating the prices considering that the houses built are for middle to low-class people. This is quite expensive because of the low country revenue.
In addition, Jamaica’sJamaica’s government incurs local and international debts that must be cleared. This high debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with the heavy obligation to service local and international debt gives the government a chance to intervene with housing construction. The population thus cannot acquire suitable housing resulting in a massive slum life mainly for the low-income earners.
Moreover, a lack of compliance with the development and planning regulations poses a challenge to the government. There is no inspection of how the housing project is being undertaken, causing many problems. This begins with corruption, where government funds allocated for construction are being pocketed, and hence low, quality structures are being built. These structures become vulnerable in the future, which will be affected by leading to never-ending disasters.
Various assumptions about Jamaica’s government’s policies regarding housing development have been identified. First, the policy states that they provide a wide range of housing choices for all income levels. This ensures that low-income people feel comfortable and do not incur high costs in paying rent. It is proven otherwise since most of the population is unemployed or elderly and cannot manage housing costs.
Furthermore, the policy states that the government ensures that adequate and suitable land supply is being allocated. This is by providing that good land management strategies are implemented for future housing needs and encouraging housing agencies to identify lands and prepare designs. They also assume that urban land and housing are expensive and more unaffordable than in the past.
In addition, the policy rationalizes the roles of the public sector agencies directly involved in housing provision to facilitate more efficient utilization of resources. In addition, they provide a framework for an information management facility for the housing sector to avoid incurring extra costs for buying construction materials. This will ease the acquisition of materials from the private sector.
Another assumption is that the solution to housing problems is to build houses more cheaply, especially for low-income earners. In addition, they established mechanisms to reduce the impact of natural disasters and other emergencies on human settlements through appropriate planning. This is because the government earns very little revenue and incurs many international debts. Cheaply built houses pose a problem in the future since they are destroyed by adverse weather conditions such as floods.
Finally, the policy provides a framework that improves all the legal arrangements among stakeholders in the sector. Moreover, it gives an overview of existing policies and legislation affecting the industry and recommends their improvement. This is to ensure that embezzlement of government funds does not occur and that people caught will be held accountable. In addition, it ensures that every sector involved in the development process is engaged to provide quality work and, eventually, for the country’s growth.
In conclusion, housing development in Jamaica has become troublesome due to many factors, including the government’s debts and the expensive acquisition of lands. This, in turn, has ensured more policies are put in place and actions are effected to at least reduce the problems that are slowly being realized.


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