Government to end housing settlement in White Hill

The troubled rural community of White Hill, St Andrew could soon be no more and residents will have little say on the matter.

The Ministry of Housing and Lands announced in a statement this evening that the relocation of 22 houses to Farmers, St Thomas, which began in 1999, is set to resume in earnest and there will be no resettlement in the community located in the Scotland District, which is prone to land slippage.

Outspoken resident Carlitha Andrews (inset) has been leading the fight to get Government to answer the plight of the community which took matters into its own hands last month and sought to build their own road.

The announcement comes on the heels of a visit by Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development Dennis Kellman to the affected district, which has been virtually cut off after a major landslide destroyed the main access road in 2014.

Just last month, residents who have been pleading to the Government to address their plight took matters into their own hands and started to build a new road.

However, according to the ministry’s statement, after observing the extent of the land slippage and its negative impact on the houses, Government officials, including Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins have strongly discouraged any resettlement in the area. The Ministry of Housing has also warned that tough enforcement measures will be imposed to guard against this.

Government is proposing to compulsorily acquire the land from White Hill residents once the construction of the new houses are completed at Farmers, St Thomas and is cautioning that those who resist this could be penalized.

“Any person who willfully chooses to erect structures in White Hill, St Andrew, are doing so at their own risk, and they will not be eligible for relocation by Government,” the ministry said.

Furthermore, once the new houses are allocated to White Hill residents, “the Ministry of Transport and Works and the National Housing Corporation will dismantle and remove the original houses from their locations in White Hill to prevent resettlement,” the statement added.

The ministry also disclosed that it had started “periodic monitoring” of the priority areas adding that any new construction will be reported to the Town & Country Development Planning Office, which has the jurisdiction for development control.

Five new houses will be constructed this financial year and another seven in 2018 at Farmers.

While assuring White Hill residents that they would not be disadvantaged, the ministry said: “The new houses are timber, masonry or mixed material construction and range in size from 412 square feet to 1,300 square feet with an average lot size of 3,000 square feet.

“These replacement units are being provided free of cost, while the land on which they are sited is being sold to non-land owners at $2.50 per square foot,” the ministry said.

18 Responses to Government to end housing settlement in White Hill

  1. Hawn Gsion
    Hawn Gsion November 1, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    About time

    Reply
  2. Janette Reifer
    Janette Reifer November 2, 2017 at 12:37 am

    The people had to take things into their own hands

    Reply
  3. Renaldo Scott
    Renaldo Scott November 2, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Will they own the land in farmers or will the government

    Reply
  4. Greengiant November 2, 2017 at 6:34 am

    The government are simply completing a job started by the B L P. The B L P could have acquired the land at White Hill, and relocated all the residents years ago, but they only half did the job.

    This area falls within a constituency held by the B L P and represented by a former Minister of Housing who used the people’s money to build the Warren’s project (Al Barrack) building that has cost the tax payers millions over. This is another example why the B L P cannot be seen as the only alternative to the current administration.

    Mr. Payne for whom I have much respect and have learned much during my youth dropped the ball on this White Hill situation. Now none of the politicians is without fault, but this issue is not a D L P issue, it runs across the bow of both parties and they both have to take full responsibility.

    Reply
    • Leroy November 2, 2017 at 7:56 am

      Once a government comes to power all the problems becomes the responsibility of said government. All governments create unfinished projects which has to be cleaned up plain and simple, makes no sense batching and moaning or stalling for political points, do the job end of story.
      Under this dlp government the situation in white hill has deteriorated to the point it needed urgent addressing. Lets hope what they say is what they do. Enough said.

      Reply
  5. MARIA Holder November 2, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Once they have been moved, and they deserve to be moved (if they are moved – this is silly season) and squatters decide to set up house there, will they be moved in the same way that the squatters in the zone 1 areas have been moved?

    Reply
  6. Sheron Inniss November 2, 2017 at 6:55 am

    I have found this situation to be amusing. I remember hiking through the area and seeing that large sign about land slippage,etc. The government is doing the right thing. Those who blatantly refuse to move or go back do it at their own risk.

    Reply
  7. Donild Trimp November 2, 2017 at 9:04 am

    “The new houses are timber, masonry or mixed material construction and range in size from 412 square feet”

    Not much of a house at 412 sq ft.

    Reply
  8. Angela Griffith
    Angela Griffith November 2, 2017 at 9:09 am

    You first

    Reply
  9. Keera Harding
    Keera Harding November 2, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Jus in time for elections

    Reply
  10. Sisleen Greene November 2, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Be wary of this plot to move White Hill residents at this time. I see this as a deliberate act to affect The election results by reducing Mr.Payne’s support, under the guise of relocation.

    Reply
  11. Patty November 2, 2017 at 9:57 am

    dammed if you do dammed if you don’t. If some of us even question God, we will question everything. Be glad and hope the government keeps its promise and stop nick picking

    Reply
  12. Kayden Jada
    Kayden Jada November 2, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Did anyone heard him on brasstack?

    Reply
  13. John Everatt November 2, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Why is the government building these new houses when they have many housing projects throughout the island sitting empty? This is another example of government wastage.

    Reply
  14. luther thorne November 2, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Only last week on this Forum , I suggested that Whitehill be abandoned and somebody attacked the comments. If land was selling @ 4 cents , I would not live down there.

    Reply
  15. DE November 2, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    @Greengiant, you are a partisan that do not understand the roll of a government. You are making all kind of statements about the BLP. You have to understand that they are the party in power and what ever business or projects that the other government leave the should be continuing. It does not happened all the time, as both the BLP and DLP age guilty of that crime.
    What you have done is to make your part look bad. To see that the BLP started the White Hill project and lost the government nine plus years ago of which the DLP is the ruling and after the nine plus years, they are now talking about ending housing settlement in White Hill and not one house has been move. With jus a few month before election we will see who will end the housing settlement in White Hill.

    Reply
  16. Kevin November 2, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Squatters are going to move back in after they are relocated. Then they will call on government to help. Mark my words.

    Reply
  17. Lorenzo November 2, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Green Giant why you always trying to bring the BLp into everything you post trying to shift blame off the DLp and then claim you are not a Dem.Every single post of yours is to try to pull down the BLp,never an attack on the DLp,is this a coincidence,as stated before every Government continues projects unfinished but like most Dems rather than taking responsibility,you all look for scape goats to blame for your failures.Tell me who is to blame for the 20 downgrades the Blp?You need to get a life and stop defending foolishness.

    Reply

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