Housing Agency instructed to have MOCA probe projects

by October 12th, 2017

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he has instructed the Board of the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) to refer certain housing projects to the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA).

Mr. Holness explained that in 2008 under the JLP, some 50 housing units were built in Luana, St. Elizabeth at cost of $2.1 m and were sold by the HAJ for $2.5 m.

He said by 2011, under the PNP administration 70 units were built in the area. He said when the JLP took over in 2016 it found the cost of each one bedroom unit to be $11.8 m.

He also cited another in St. Mary, the Hills of Boscobel project where 159 service lots and 99 two bedroom units were to be constructed at a cost of $802 m.

According to Mr. Holness, when the administration took over the site in 2016, it found the total cost of the project to be $1.6 b.

He said he raised the issues to balance the public discourse.

In recent weeks the Opposition has called for probes into Government spending ahead of the October 30 by elections.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he is delaying the handing over of houses in South East St. Mary, to prevent the government being accused of using them as a campaign tool.

Mr. Holness, who was speaking at a Housing Agency of Jamaica ground breaking ceremony for the Luana Housing development in St. Elizabeth yesterday, said the houses were ready to be delivered.

The Opposition has accused the Jamaica Labour Party administration of vote buying tactics because of a number of projects being implemented in the area ahead of the October 30 by election.

Mr. Holness said he did not want the home homers properties to be tarnished by political accusation.