JAMAICA (AP) — Barefoot bungles are spreading like wildfire across a coastal community in northeastern Jamaica.
The city’s mayor says the growing trend has led to an influx of people looking for homes in a region that has seen little development since the late 1960s.
Jamaica’s biggest city is bracing for a similar boom.
Residents say they’re eager to buy a bungalower with a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and a bedroom closet, and many are taking advantage of a government subsidy program that gives homeowners an income tax break.
The city council has approved two housing projects in the city of Kingston that will be built with barefeet.
But a handful of developers are hoping for bigger subsidies and say the city’s current shortage of housing is putting a strain on their business.
“It’s hard to get funding.
There’s a lack of supply in the area, but it’s not too much,” said Darryl Coughlan, who heads a construction company that has been trying to build a house on a lot next to a bungle house.
The Kingston bungalowers have become popular in the island’s booming mining industry.
Most are built with traditional brick and concrete.
Some even include wooden frames.
They’ve been popular in places like the Jamaican capital, Kingston, but the government has struggled to get private developers to build the houses.
Some of the city council’s decisions have put a damper on the growth of the new bungaloes.
The council last month rejected proposals to build four more bungalouses on a plot of land owned by the mining company, as well as a second site.
It also rejected a plan to build three more bungles on the same site, instead proposing two bungles with the same design.
The council is planning to use the $3 million in tax breaks to build six new bungles in the next two years.
But critics say the money should go to projects that will make people feel comfortable living in the homes they already own.
The government is considering building another five bungalowing sites in the capital city of Manawatu, the biggest city in the region.
In the northern part of the island, about 15 percent of the population live in homes that don’t meet government standards for safety and health.