Univer­sity stu­dents need hous­ing so­lu­tions

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - MEM­BER OF PAR­LIA­MENT: Fay­val Wil­liams CON­STITUENCY: St Andrew East­ern

DIS­CUSSING THE economic po­ten­tial of off-cam­pus stu­dent hous­ing in com­mu­ni­ties near the two uni­ver­si­ties in St Andrew East­ern, mem­ber of par­lia­ment (MP) for the con­stituency, Fay­val Wil­liams, said she will not re­lent in her ap­peal to fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to fund this en­tre­pre­neur­ial un­der­tak­ing.

“Home­own­ers in our com­mu­ni­ties that bor­der the uni­ver­si­ties need to be given a chance to take out homeim­prove­ment loans backed by the in­come of stu­dent ren­tals. A bil­lion dol­lars col­lec­tively from our fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to­wards loans with a vi­able source of re­pay­ment and low lev­els of de­fault make sense in our col­lec­tive ef­fort to re­store com­mu­ni­ties,” Wil­liams said re­cently in her con­tri­bu­tion to the State of the Con­stituency De­bate in Par­lia­ment.

The first-time MP, who is also state min­is­ter for finance and the pub­lic ser­vice, said in other coun­tries stu­dent hous­ing, whether on or off cam­pus, is good busi­ness. “I in­tend to keep en­gag­ing our fi­nan­cial

in­sti­tu­tions un­til they pay at­ten­tion to this op­por­tu­nity,” she as­serted.

Com­ment­ing on a com­mu­nity tourism ini­tia­tive in her con­stituency, Wil­liams said the res­i­dents of Au­gust Town have been mak­ing strides in cap­i­tal­is­ing on the story of Alexan­der Bed­ward, an AfricanJa­maican healer who led the Ja­maica Bap­tist Free Church in the com­mu­nity.

“Spear­headed by the Siz­zla Youth Foun­da­tion, the com­mu­nity of Au­gust Town has started at­tract­ing tourists for its ‘walk­ing tours’ that in­clude a stop at the Bed­ward Church­yard, a dip in the heal­ing stream, topped off by a tour of the Siz­zla mu­sic stu­dio, where you can catch up your vibes,” Wil­liams ex­plained.

“I took one of those walk­ing tours with the am­bas­sador of Ar­gentina and the coun­try rep­re­sen­ta­tive at the Bri­tish High Com­mis­sion. This is some­thing both gen­tle­men said ‘they never dreamt they would do’. I am proud to have ini­ti­ated that walk with them.” Bunting

FAY­VAL WIL­LIAMS

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