Prime Minister Andrew Holness is urging Jamaicans to be more innovative in building their homes and keeping in mind affordable housing, speaking at the Low Cost Housing Design Competition awards ceremony, Mr. Holness says the traditional way of building homes has proven to be too costly.
The Prime Minister says it is time to move away from the traditional ways of building houses. Mr. Holness insists people who are building their own homes should seek cheaper alternatives or innovative ways to use traditional materials.
The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of collaboration among construction industry stakeholders in the development of innovative, cost-effective, and affordable housing solutions for Jamaicans, noting that the initiative is intended to stimulate discussions on innovative building design technologies to incorporate them into future developments.
“We are hoping that with these designs, we could use them to influence persons when they are making their construction decisions…When government is going to build, we will have these designs as templates that we can use,” he stated.
He says while it is the Government’s duty to cater for the poor, it is costly to build houses using steel and concrete. The competition was launched in august of this year and sought to foster the development of new building methods and housing solutions.
Holness says the competition was targeted at the nation’s architects, engineers, designers, and other creatives who’re often focused on personal and commercial projects, rather than nation-building. The Prime Minister says the samples will be used as templates for the Government when carrying out its low-income housing initiative.
Individuals and teams submitted more than 300 entries. For each of the competition’s four design categories: one bedroom, two bedrooms, three bedrooms, and multi-family units, winners, as well as second and third place runners-up, received cash prizes of $1 million, $500,000, and $250,000, respectively.
In addition, a cash prize of $50,000 was presented to honorary mentions for their innovative designs. All finalists also received plaques and special recognition certificates. The competition’s top entries will be used to help build future housing alternatives for the New Social Housing Programme.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie, said the competition promoted active involvement between residents and the government in the design of affordable housing solutions, thanked the commercial sector for its support, and urged all Jamaicans to participate.
The initiative is part of the National Social Living Program (NSHP), which is an extension of the Housing, Opportunity, Production, and Employment (HOPE) project, which aims to improve the housing conditions of the country’s poor.
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