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Pm Reveals Details On Housing Scheme

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. (File photo)

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. (File photo)

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis revealed that a planned housing programme geared towards young professionals will include certain exemptions such as waived customs duty on building materials and appliances and real property tax exemption for up to two years after the homes have been constructed.

He gave notice in the House of Assembly last night that a resolution to develop an affordable “upscale” community for young people in the western area of New Providence will be debated at the next sitting of the House. The government is determined “to make it a priority to make land more accessible and affordable to young Bahamians,” the resolution says.

The proposed development will allow people between the ages of 18 and 45 to buy 95 x100 feet lots for $50,000.

The resolution says the government will put in place all the necessary infrastructure so that the lots will be worth $150,000 once the infrastructure is installed.

The first area identified for the plan is 83 acres of land in the vicinity of the Baha Mar property.

More specifically, it includes “all that piece parcel or lot of treasury land containing 83 acres or thereabouts subject to survey located on the northern side of John F Kennedy Drive and the junction of Prospect Ridge Road in the western district of the island of New Providence,” the resolution says.

“The said parcel of land is bounded on the north partly by Golf Course Heights, Dingoe Limited and private lands, bounded on the east partly by John F Kennedy Drive, partly by Crown land and partly by government land, bounded on the west by Prospect Ridge road.”

The community, according to the resolution, will include walking paths, two parks, a community centre and a swimming pool. It will also be eco-friendly, “with minimal change to the existing topography of the land.”

As part of the deal, exemptions will be granted.

Custom duties will be waived on building materials and appliances and real property tax will be exempted for up to two years after the homes are constructed.

The resolution says the homes will need to be completed within two years of purchase to ensure the development is completed in a timely manner.

Dr Minnis placed the land plan in the context of other pledges his administration has made, saying it has expanded pre-school and opportunities for free tertiary education while trying to make the “Bahamian dream” a reality for residents.

“Part two of the Bahamian dream is to provide an opportunity for every Bahamian to own land and build their home,” he said. “Young professionals have always been sort of ignored or put on the sidelines, so we wanted to identify lands throughout The Bahamas for our young professionals and our young people.”

Dr Minnis said 150 lots will be available during the first development, 40 percent of which will be multi-family lots and 60 percent of which will be for single families.

“The equity is such a vast amount that individuals would not have to come up with any down-payment to construct their homes,” Dr Minnis said.

He added that for $1,000, people will be able to buy one of up to ten architectural design models.

He said to ensure fair play, a committee will be established to set rules and determine who will get the lots.

“We will introduce ordinance and restrictive covenants that you cannot repair cars in given areas,” he said.

Dr Minnis said flipping will not be allowed and that the government will be given the “right of first refusal” if a homeowner wants to sell his or her property.

“In other words, if you want to sell (it), government is given the first offer and government can purchase it at a slight increase after which it will be placed back in the pool for individuals to purchase,” he said.

He promised that more benefits of the plan will be discussed during the debate in April.

The passing of the resolution is needed to fulfil the requirements of the Conveyancing and Law of Property Act.

Dr Minnis said a portion of nearby land is reserved for an official residence for the prime minister.

“I have no intention of building any or moving so I don’t want the people to think I am building a residence for myself,” he said.

Comments

moncurcool 4 weeks ago

So why again is the Nassau centric? What about young families living on other islands besides NP. That plan needs to be expanded to include all islands

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tribanon 4 weeks ago

Our self-annointed supreme ruler is taking care of the young loyal FNM professionals he has already selected and wants to live in his Killarney constituency and is brazeningly using our tax dollars to fund the overly-generous freebies, not to mention the heavily padded real estate development and construction contracts he will award to cronies in connection with this 'vote-buying' pet FNM project of his.

Meanwhile, the many indigent elderly and truly needy 'non-professional' Bahamians, and their families, who are now living well below the poverty line, must somehow fend for themselves because social welfare programmes are starved of the funding so desperately need for them to carry out their mission. But power-juiced Minnis is so self-absorbed with his own political wants and needs that he's totally out-of-touch with the real needs of so many in our society. It really doesn't get too much more corrupt and uncaring than this.

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TalRussell 4 weeks ago

Whoever be's the non-professional woman's succeeds the splash and spend, Thee Mr. Minnis is goin' have spent her first 12 months of their governing mandate, occupied dust off paying attention to the PopoulacesCommomers at large (PCAL), and the ignored sections of the realm's Constitution.
Well, are you even sure exactly how to think your way through another pre-general election scheme of Thee lost touch man's is attempting to pull off?

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Observer 4 weeks ago

What is Prime Minister Minnis' definition of 'professionals' as used in his proposed resolution to Parliament, for providing affordable building lots to 18-45 year old Bahamians?

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birdiestrachan 4 weeks ago

It all seems like discrimination to me what documents are required to make one eligible to buy a piece of these lots.

And they all allow roc wit doc to get away with this foolishness,

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birdiestrachan 4 weeks ago

Ages 18 to 45. Should a person live to see 50 will they have to move?

How Dumb is all this. what makes one set of people better than another group.?

The Bahamian people voted for this crew, so they deserve whatever they get.

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ThisIsOurs 3 weeks, 6 days ago

there are some truths about age. Theoretically you have less time. theoretically youre more susceptible to illness. So there are some things to consider. Maybe you pay at an accelerated rate for example or more up front. But this govt just carte blanche eliminates people over 30 from every opportunity. You cant get hired (unless they know you), you cant qualify for training programs and you cant qualify for land. To them after 30 youre brain dead and have zero to offer. Even the SBDC has this inexplicable policy of grants to people under 30 for "ideas"????? You would think the goal would be the best ideas wherever they come from. But there we go again. The "bold" govt sponsored discrimination is simply amazing. The international bodies need to call the govt out on these discriminatory policies.

Tyoically they eliminate older persons with this lame excuse of giving opportunities to young people. Abd young people repeat the fallacy. But it's really a reflection of the govts lack of vision, lack of understanding of and inability to grow the economy. With the money that flowed through this country there should have been room for all.

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TalRussell 4 weeks ago

To win the General Election, the opposition parties must unite to fight the general by reverting back to the strategy that was used successfully against the once all-powerful UBPs of 1967 - waging election warfare as if they're going up against the well-money oiled Thee Mr. Minnis aka Thee Sir Stafford's reincarnation.

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birdiestrachan 4 weeks ago

Where would an 18-year-old get sufficient money to build a house in two years.

It is just foolish talk and he gets away with it because he is the darling of the press

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ThisIsOurs 3 weeks, 6 days ago

lol. he's certainly not the darling of the press

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ohdrap4 3 weeks, 6 days ago

From his 50 year father. I once knew a man who coveyed his house to his 1 year old grandson to avoid creditors.

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Hoda 2 weeks, 3 days ago

18? You skip the 30 year old, the 35 year old and go straight to 18?

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Hoda 2 weeks, 3 days ago

So young people or persons who qualify shouldn’t have the benefit or opportunity because you didn’t get it or don’t have it. Sad. You’re comparing a young receiving a benefit where they buy the land and build homes out of there pocket, employ contractors, engineers, architects, plummers to the govt building some low cost homes and giving them free of charge. Sad. When some of old angry jealous bitter Bahamians go home to glory the rest of us will be better off.

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