The housing market was revolutionized by The Matalon Family who introduced mass houses classified as ‘turn-key’ – no additional building/finishing work needed; just turn the key and move right in!
The Matalon Family, having been successful in other entrepreneurial ventures, took the decision to enter the mass housing market in Jamaica in the late 1950s. At that time, most Jamaicans didn’t have the required funds to purchase land and build a house, as was the practice in that era. There was an undeniable demand for mass housing, particularly in the growing capital of Kingston and the Matalons, who had a keen eye for spotting opportunities, came up with innovative ways of providing a solution for the housing demand through ‘turn-key’ developments.
After negotiations with the Government of Jamaica, we were offered land at Mona. Mayer Matalon who was the financial genius of the family, successfully negotiated financing with a mutual society and Aaron who had an innate skill at marketing, set up the advertising and sales for the project. Moses the engineer, was involved in the planning and Owen ran the field operations. He had a knack for problem-solving and became largely responsible for the creation of what would evolve as the proprietary Building System.
Mona Heights broke new ground in the housing market and paved the way for several other developments. Harbour View (a housing project comprising 1800 units) followed; next was Duhaney Park (2,400 units) and then came Hughenden (550 units).