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News » Jamaica targets BPO workers with housing initiative

Jamaica targets BPO workers with housing initiative

Jamaica housing initiative
Photo from Caribbean National Weekly

KINGSTON, JAMAICA—The Jamaican government announced a new initiative to provide affordable housing options for young professionals, particularly those in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector. 

The National Housing Trust (NHT) is set to develop one-bedroom apartment complexes as starter homes, a move that underscores the administration’s commitment to fostering homeownership among young adults.

During a budget debate presentation, Prime Minister Andrew Holness highlighted the innovative aspect of the scheme, which includes a buy-back clause in the sale agreements. 

This clause allows homeowners the option to sell their properties back to the NHT after a certain period, offering flexibility and security to young buyers.

The initiative is part of a broader strategy to empower young Jamaicans, enabling them to shift from renting to owning and thereby building equity and financial stability. 

The government’s focus on young professionals, especially those in the BPO sector, addresses the critical need for affordable housing solutions for individuals burdened by rental costs. 

Around 62,000 Jamaicans are now working in the BPO industry, up 44% from their pre-pandemic figures.

Currently, construction is underway for 264 one-bedroom units in Vineyard Town and Howard Avenue. 

An additional 303 units at Barracks Road in Montego Bay are earmarked for workers in key sectors, including tourism, BPO, and security, reflecting a targeted approach to meet the housing needs of various industries.

To further support young adults, the government revised its policy to reserve up to 10% of housing solutions for contributors under the age of 35. This policy change is designed to provide more equitable access to housing for this demographic, which has historically been underrepresented in NHT scheme selections.

The government’s housing initiatives extend beyond the starter home program. Partnerships with entities like the Tourism Enhancement Fund will help finance housing for tourism workers, and investments are planned for the renewal of small inner-city communities. These efforts represent a comprehensive approach to tackling Jamaica’s housing challenges.

Looking forward, the NHT set ambitious targets for the upcoming financial year, with plans to start construction on 15,009 housing solutions focused on lower-middle-income to low-income contributors. 

This includes a variety of housing options, from two-bedroom units to serviced lots, catering to different affordability levels. Additionally, approximately 3,744 housing solutions are expected to be completed across the island.

Read more here.

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