In addition to continuing to build mass housing units, Newport East, Newport West and The Causeway Bridge were also constructed. We also had a hand in the creation of the NHT which today offers homes for thousands of contributors.
The Hughenden development was nearing completion when Construction & Dredging, a subsidiary of the ICD Group, was awarded the contract to dredge along Foreshore Road (now known as Marcus Garvey Drive) and allow the construction of a deep-water port, eliminating the finger piers of downtown Kingston and establishing Newport East and West.
The subsequent building of the Causeway Bridge granted access to Portmore, with our first development – Independence City – being built in 1969. Innovations brought to the housing industry by the Matalon’s allowed for the building of as many as 75 houses per week, resulting in over 25,000 houses being constructed in the Portmore community over a period of several years.
A major challenge facing potential purchasers has always been the access to reasonable mortgage rates. Mayer Matalon conceptualised the creation of a government mortgage entity funded by both employees and employers. Created in 1976, the National Housing Trust (NHT) lends money to qualified employed persons at rates well below the average mortgage rates of other established mortgage institutions. The founding of the NHT to help the citizens of Jamaica achieve home ownership also created a pool of potential customers.
The communities of Edgewater, Bridgeport, Passagefort, and Waterford were built between 1971 and 1977 and many of those purchasers were beneficiaries of the NHT.