Despite the many challenges of 2020, including record-breaking rainfall and flooding in October and November, as well as the escalation of the global COVID-19 pandemic, China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) Jamaica is poised to deliver the first 50 homes in the Catherine Estates Housing Development before May.
Launched in June 2020, the Catherine Estates Housing Development, located along the Dunbeholden Road, is a joint-venture partnership between CHEC and the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ), and is expected to provide 1,650 low-income housing solutions, the first of its kind in Jamaica. The development will have one bedroom and studio duplexes.
CHEC is currently working in phases three and four of the development. The first 50 homes will consist of 30 one-bedroom houses and 20 duplexes.
CHEC Jamaica Country Manager Dangran Bi said: “We are very excited to be moving forward with this project because we understand the importance of having affordable housing options for Jamaicans, as well as the economic opportunities that this project could offer. Last year was a year like no other for CHEC. Like any other industry, we were greatly affected by the pandemic, with travel and other restrictions placing limits on our work. Coupled with the record level of rainfall later in the year, we were faced with unprecedented challenges. However, understanding the importance of delivering these homes in a reasonable time, as well as our commitment to the persons we employ, we soldiered through.”
More than 90 per cent of the employees on the project are Jamaicans, something that Bi said was important to maintain, given the current economic situation brought on by the pandemic.
“One of our aims as a company is to make sure we have a positive impact on any community that we operate in. Providing employment for local residents is very important to us and, now more than ever, it is key that we keep the project moving smoothly to deliver the development as well as honour our commitment to the residents.”
CHEC is an internationally-acclaimed contractor and the overseas operating division of world leading engineering company – China Communications Construction Company Limited. Over the past 30 years of operation, CHEC has spread its business activities to more than 70 countries undertaking projects valued at over US$10 billion. In addition to the Catherine Estates Housing Development, CHEC is also undertaking the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project and Kingston Logistics Park. CHEC Jamaica will also be building the long-awaited Morant Bay Urban Centre, which is set to start later this year.