Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis delivers his address.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
IN a bid to boost access to affordable housing for Bahamians, the Minnis administration will “provide extremely low cost lots” to potential first-time home owners, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced.
He said the lots will be equipped with “necessary utilities” but buyers will be responsible for building their own homes.
“They may utilise their own architect or utilise pre-existing plans offered by the government,” he said. “The potential homeowners will have two years to build their homes at duty-free concessionary rates. Because the lots will be inexpensive, we expect scores of first-time homeowners to take advantage of this programme. The programme will be extended to Family Islands thus encouraging Family Island ownership, second home ownership, and entrepreneurship development of bed and breakfast properties.”
It has been a long-standing policy of the government to offer low-cost homes to Bahamians, with the Department of Housing tasked with facilitating the construction of affordable housing to low and middle income Bahamians.
In his address, Dr Minnis did not say what price the lots will be available for, nor did he say where in New Providence the lots will be located.
Last year, Minister of Environment and Housing Romauld Ferreira announced the government planned to spend $2 million to complete 300 homes in the Carmichael Village Subdivision during the fiscal year.
“For the past 10 years, the Department of Housing renovated and/or repaired more than those that were newly built,” Mr Ferreira said previously. “In the last five years, the Department of Housing renovated and/or repaired over 300 homes and rental units while only building 235 new homes.
“During this budget cycle, the Department of Housing will complete 300 homes in the Carmichael Village Subdivision, and $2 million will be expended to cover the cost of the development. This will be done under the government’s private venture initiative. Under the same initiative, 72 homes will be completed in the new Carmichael West Subdivision.”