IDB, JN Bank Partner on Water Adaptation Project for Housing

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has made funds available through JN Bank to finance housing projects in Jamaica, which integrate water efficiency technologies to promote water adaptation and conservation.

JN Bank and the IDB, along with the JN Foundation, signed the loan agreement, on Friday, March 10, at a breakfast meeting at JN Financial Services Centre, 2 Belmont Road in New Kingston.

The financing will be provided through a US$5.75 million loan to JN Bank, which will on-lend the funds to housing developers at single digit mortgage rates.

The loan is predicated to promote climate change resilience in the housing sector, by reducing water demand and improving water reliability. The financing is the first of its kind for the IDB.

“The objective of the loan is to facilitate the uptake of water efficiency measures in the housing sector across the country,” says Saffrey Brown, general manager of the JN Foundation, which will be managing the technical implementation of the project.

That includes the use of rain water harvesting systems, water efficient taps and showers, low-flush toilets, efficient irrigation systems, grey-water recycling facilities, among other resourceful water measures.

The technical component of the project will be implemented in five phases.

In phase one, the focus will centre on developing awareness about the financing available to developers; and to conduct a pilot project to underscore the cost savings from the implementation of water adaptation measures.

In phase two, JN Bank will on-lend funds to developers and construction companies; and in phase three JN, through the JN Foundation, will assist to build the technical capacity of developers to integrate water adaptation technologies into their housing projects.

A fourth component of the project will be to increase the number of medium and small enterprises dealing in the supply of climate resilient products to support water adaptation.

And, the final phase of the project will centre on disseminating the lessons learned during the project; as well as, to underscore the need for additional water adaptation measures in housing development.

“This project is timely, given the continued experience and effects of climate change across the country,” Miss Brown commented, pointing to the impact of recent drought conditions. “And, we expect that it will, over time, yield significant cost savings for homeowners; improve conservation; while increasing the reliability of water supplies.”

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