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‘Build Your Own Home’ - Only Nine Qualified

Housing and Environment Minister Romauld Ferreira.

Housing and Environment Minister Romauld Ferreira.

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

THE Department of Housing has received about 60 applications for its serviced lot initiative but only nine have qualified, Housing and Environment Minister Romauld Ferreira said yesterday.

Mr Ferreira was disappointed that many Bahamians, particularly those who can have salary deductions, have been seduced by predatory lending at commercial banks and could not qualify for a mortgage.

He said government was not considering dropping prices below $15,000, which he said was at cost.

Some six weeks since the initiative was launched, he urged Bahamians to get their “financial house” in order as the lots on offer represented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase land in New Providence at low rates.

Mr Ferreira said: “We’ve really had a lot of interest so far we’ve received, the Department of Housing has received about 60 applications – regrettably only nine of them qualify. We say to the Bahamian public, this is one of those one-in-a-lifetime opportunities, we urge you to put your financial house in order so you can take advantage of this.

“Never before in the history of our country has land been made available at these kind of prices under $20,000, 15,000, 18,000 – with that much built in equity this can actually make a change and a difference in your life.

“The requirements are actually quite liberal because you’re dealing with the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation,” he continued. “There is no bank, there is no financial entity more flexible with the Bahamian public than the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation. The fact of the matter is consumer debt and predatory lending by some of the other commercial banks, it’s a huge issue and a lot of Bahamians have been seduced into loans that are unnecessary, particularly Bahamians who can have salary deductions.”

The Department of Housing launched its serviced lot initiative at Sunset Close off Carmichael Road, called the Sunset Close Subdivision Extension, on July 12.

Those lots are priced at $15,000, but Mr Ferreira said the price for other lots will depend on the cost to install infrastructural services.

He said engineering drawings and works for the Lionel Davis lots on Romer Street in Fox Hill will start soon, with the Carmichael Village project still in its design phase.

Lionel Davis Estates is expected to provide an additional 10 serviced lots, and phase one of the Carmichael Village project will contain 150 serviced lots.

Outside Cabinet yesterday, Mr Ferreira pointed to the challenge of shoddy workmanship as a major factor behind the government’s decision to get out of home construction and simply offer serviced lots.

“Shoddy workmanship,” he said, “that is like the number one concern even today 10 to 15 years after homes have been constructed the government still has the responsibility of going back and repairing these homes because of the contractual relationship is between the homeowner and the government. The homeowner in many instances has abdicated even simple repairs like fixing a leaking pipe under the sink to the government.

“So the government is saying look we will provide you with this lot, it’s worth between $80,000 to $100,000 so you automatically get $80,000 to $60,000 worth of equity, and then you have that contractual relationship between yourself and the contractor of your choice.”

He added: “We’re taking ourselves out of the equation, the Department of Housing is repairing homes that were constructed many, many years ago and it’s an unfair burden to the Bahamian taxpayer.”

Comments

bogart 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Some of he upper echelons fail big time to not know the realities of pore struggling Bahamians.....simple mathematical analysis is ya looks at the prospective market ya appealings to ....age 65 is when deys pays get cut an dey on pension...so ya appealling to employed at 18 to 65 years old.....lookin at the successfull applicant(s)..ys see the amount of the repayment whole loan to repay monthly...das ite 45% total loans debt service ratio....an the applicant must be able to survive with leeway on 55%.....Given that reaserch must have been done so as to know that these lowest prices would be a sellout but obviously is not....the government researchers officials responsible should offer their resignations for this blunder....Da Minister had ample time to do research knowing the govt workers pay and salary deductions and VAT increase on applicants budget analysis before rolling out project....

On the next aspect of govt not getting into the constructoon business because of shoddy workmanship......well doesnt the govt presently get into the construction of clinics....repairing schools....fixing roads....seawalls .getting BAMSI buildings built...?????.....NO MATTER WHO BUILDS THE BUILDINGS.....GOVT IS INVOLVED IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS OF LAWFULLY INSPECTING IN STAGES...CERTIFYING THESE STRUCTURES THAT CONSTRUCTION IS IN ACCORDANCE TO CODES RULES REGULATIONS FOR SAFE OCCUPANCY....OR DESIGNATED STANDARDS ARE MET FOR USE...,,!!!.....well mudda tek sic dred...!!!!!

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bobneville 2 months, 2 weeks ago

some became filthy rich,most stayed dirt poor and worst,because our black governt has kept the people ignorant,and dependent on the govrnt to give them all they need,so no good effort but al least now you new commers know what the banks knew all along ,most bahamians cannot make it on there own even with a good education,we really never struggle and stride,we all were taught to get a goverment job,and skid thru life for all our lives not thinking that one day things will change,now it has and most of us dont know what to do,no more security blanket,so lets gamble our savings away,govevnt made robbing its people legal,thats is why pop symonette didnt want leagal gambling in his country,things will change slowly,for our peoplebut it has to change for the new day,nobody told you about that yet did they???????? cause not.

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mandela 2 months, 2 weeks ago

A once in a lifetime offer, ha when the persons who need these home can't afford them, some time ago it was stated that about 80% of Bahamians don't have $1000.00 in their bank account, with minimum wage between $210 - 250 per week, 15% vat, high electricity, food cost high, gas cost high, phone, cable, internet all high, how can and who will be able to qualify?. I think this is all a gimmick, they, the government will say " oh we made a once in a lifetime offer and Bahamians didn't take advantage of the offer" knowing full well that about 80% of Bahamians are too strung out, minimum wage, and taxed out to be able to afford this offer in the first place.

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TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Has thought too crossed others mind's that the striking resemblance minister to the local comrade Hand Bag Designer - after he got's all pumped full of embalming fluid and posed up like a waxwork sitting chair at funeral homes's viewing body - just might be scaring away the more timid 'build your own home' applicants? { Can't just make this stuff up }. Something the Queen should've been told.

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bogart 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Ok Minister....so 9 out of 60 qualified....dats like..15%......so last go arpund 4,000 Mortgages did qualify are in default hence da Mortgage Relief effort that did not even work....so where the huge 4,000 qualified mortgages that failed come from and dats only the ones that failed.....so how come ....these loans that tied up billions need to be investigated.....if loans were given out that didnt qualify causing failure then persons need to go to jail....!!!!

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