Housing Facilities

Information on Housing provided by UWI in Jamaica

Housing

Lecturers and Senior Administrative Staff receive a housing allowance as part of their contractual agreement with the University. This allowance represents 40% of the basic salary. Of this amount, 10% is automatically credited to the salary, while the staff member determines the use of the remaining 30%. The 30% can be taken and used to find housing of choice, without University involvement, or the staff member can forfeit the allowance and request to be housed by the University. If requested, the University provides unfurnished accommodation to eligible staff members and their dependent children. Where staff members do not have furniture, the University can provide basic items of furniture for rent on a temporary basis until they are able to acquire their own. Staff who arrive from overseas on first appointment to the University will be provided with reasonable temporary accommodation for a period not exceeding three months, which will be let to them at the prevailing rates and subject to the conditions governing housing.

The University owns 165 and currently leases approximately 80 housing units for the accommodation of eligible staff. Sizes range from two room apartments, to four room houses. The number of rooms given includes bedrooms and study, but excludes living room, helper’s room, kitchen and bathrooms. The policy used for allocation of housing is as follows:

Post, Status & Family Size

Room Entitlement

Assistant Lecturer, Single

Assistant Lecturer, Married, 1 child

Lecturer, Single, no children

Lecturer, married, no children

2

Assistant Lecturer, Married, 2 or more children

Lecturer, married, one or two children

Lecturer, single, one or two children

Senior Lecturer, single

Senior Lecturer, married

3

Lecturer, married, three or more children

Senior Lecturer, married, one or more children

Professor

4

NOTE: a) “Child” is, unless the context otherwise requires, a person who has not attained the age of 18 years; b) Staff members are permitted to apply for better (larger) than he or she is eligible for, provided:

· Such accommodation is available; and

· They are willing to pay the University the additional cost, in addition to the normal rental paid for the type of house they are eligible for.

Many of the houses on campus have extensive gardens, while properties leased by the University are mainly town houses or detached units within a 10 mile radius from the campus. Housing Committee allocates houses according to the above mentioned Housing Policy. The Appointments Section advises the Housing Office of the particulars of a new staff member, and indicates if housing is required. The Housing Committee then allocates appropriate housing. On-campus housing is in great demand and there is a long list of persons waiting to be assigned such housing. Therefore new staff members who request to be housed by the University are generally assigned housing in a nearby community. It is important to note that the University does not provide housing with water heaters; staff members must purchase their own. Generally, however, properties which are leased to the University come equipped with water heaters.

Utilities

The Housing Office ensures that electricity and water are on each premises. In the University owned houses, the water and electricity meters are read monthly for amounts used, and appropriate deductions are made from the salary of the staff member occupying the house. Those persons who live in leased properties receive bills for electricity and water in the mail, which they pay themselves. There are two companies which currently provide land line telephone service in Jamaica: LIME and FLOW. Accessing this service this involves a private contractual arrangement between the householder and the company. There are currently three cellular telephone service providers: LIME, DIGICEL AND FLOW. Each company has outlets in various locations in Kingston and across the island. Internet providers can also be contacted for installation of wireless network connections

Household furniture – Especially important for new staff coming from overseas

The contract of employment offers unfurnished accommodation, but for those persons coming from overseas, a limited number of items of furniture and appliances can be rented for a short time until staff members acquire their own. The University furniture is very basic while locally made furniture is of good quality and style and is available from furniture establishments. Sheets, cutlery and kitchenware should be returned after three (3) months. The refrigerator should be returned after six (6) months, and all other furniture should be returned after one year.

Household Equipment

The University only provides a refrigerator and stove for rental as indicated above. It is not possible to indicate what household equipment to bring to Jamaica as tastes and needs vary, but it is advisable, within limits of baggage allowance to bring as much as possible. However, members of staff should note that all household equipment should have been in their possession for a period of not less than six months in order not to attract duty. It is therefore advisable for new equipment to be accompanied by appropriate receipts for the information of the custom officials. Electricity in Jamaica operates on 50 cycles and 110 voltages, and the University houses are wired in this way. It is, however, possible to install outlets with 220 volts for domestic appliances.

Housekeeping and Garden Service

Staff members who are housed by the University are responsible for care of the house and gardens. In this regard, many staff members employ a household helper and gardener. Weekly paid household help earns two weeks’ leave with pay after one year of service. Contributions to the National Insurance Scheme and National Housing Trust for all employees are compulsory on the part of the employer.

Repairs to houses

The Estate Management Department has overall responsibility for the general maintenance of the University owned and leased houses. The Housing Office will liaise with the owners of leased properties to effect major repairs on these properties. Whenever repairs are needed to your house, the staff member should call Customer Service in the Estate Management Department – Tel #s 2010, 2011, give the address of the residence and describe the problem(s) to be corrected. A Request number will be given to each job and the relevant section should retrieve the request number and act on it. The sections in department which deal with repairs are: Building, plumbing, electrical, joinery, Sanitation & Grounds. When reporting the repair request it will be necessary to provide your name, address and contact numbers, so that the technician can arrange for a suitable time for the work to be done. The Housing Office can, if necessary, liaise between you and the section to avoid the worker arriving at your house at an inappropriate time.

Transportation

Public transportation in Kingston can be difficult, but taxi companies are easily accessible. Some of the University owned houses are within walking distance from the campus, and most other houses are up to thirty minutes away by car.

Other Services/Facilities

There are supermarkets, fruit and vegetable markets, dry cleaning/laundry establishments, and shopping malls and a major Hospital close to the University. The Students Union also has a small supermarket, restaurant, beauty salon, Pool bar, Gym and Travel Agency which are open to both students and staff.

Banking services are offered on campus by the National Commercial Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Jamaica National Building Society and UWI (Mona) & Community Co-op Credit Union. There is also a branch of the Government Post Office adjacent to the campus. Automated Teller Machines are on campus to facilitate 24-hour access to certain banking services. Opening hours of the banks are as follows:

· National Commercial Bank

Monday – Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Fridays: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

· Bank of Nova Scotia

Monday - Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Fridays: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

· Jamaica National Building Society

Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

The post office is open for business from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Utility Bills can also be paid at the Post Office.

Jogging and Swimming

There are three large football fields in an area called the Mona Bowl the perimeter of which is a popular jogging site for staff and students. Adjacent to the Mona Bowl is the University Swimming pool. This is an Olympic size pool, accessible to staff on payment of an annual fee. There is also the UWI/Usain Bolt Stadium used for athletic training and special athletic events.

The Senior Common Room

The Senior Common Room (SCR), a member’s only club for senior staff, provides a convenient and central meeting place for all academic, library and senior administrative and professional staff and their families. The facilities include a lounge, bar, small swimming pool, and badminton, tennis and squash courts. The SCR is open daily until 10.00 p.m. The SCR complex also has a small hotel: the Mona Visitor’s Lodge.

Other Recreational Facilities

The University owns a private beach at Lyssons in St. Thomas, some forty miles east of Kingston. Annual staff passes are available for a fee. The University also owns a house on the north coast at Cardiff Hall near Runaway Bay in the parish of St. Ann and an old colonial house in the hills of St. Andrew both were recently renovated and will be shortly open to staff and visitors.