In accordance with his party’s promise to provide access to affordable housing for Bahamians, the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Dr. Hubert Minnis, visited several sites on Abaco on Friday, May 25, 2018.
It was the first Family Island the Prime Minister visited following the passing of the Access to Affordable Homes Bill, 2018 in the House of Assembly on May 8.
Dr. Minnis, accompanied by the Minister of the Environment and Housing Romauld Ferreira; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament for North Abaco Darren Henfield; Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for South Abaco, James Albury; Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini, Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe; Elaine Martinborough, Department of Housing, Abaco, and other officials, visited government housing subdivisions in Spring City, Crossing Rocks, Central Pines and Murphy Town.
The government’s mission is to provide service-ready land at reduced costs, the prime minister said, adding that properties have been identified for subdivision development and for the sale of residential serviced lots in New Providence, Andros, Abaco, Exuma and San Salvador.
“The new housing program will also encourage second home ownership in the Family Islands,” he said.
While in Spring City, the prime minister and the team observed a number of homes constructed but not occupied due to controversy surrounding alleged non-payment to contractors.
Dr. Minnis said that government will go after contractors who were paid but have not yet completed construction, warning that contractors would be placed on a “stop list” until the situation is resolved.
In Crossing Rocks Dr. Minnis visited the subdivision that was used to relocate residents following the devastation of Hurricane Floyd in 1999, noting that his government would continue to uphold that promise and create access to affordable homes for residents there.
“The plan is to develop one subdivision per year and allow the young populace to purchase land at affordable prices,” he said.
“We have a lot of Bahamians throughout the islands who wish to own their own homes but are unable to afford to.”
The government also aims to pass on tremendous savings to homeowners. The average lot that will be sold has a value of $100,000 will be sold for approximately $30,000.
Certain material for home building will be duty free, which may save homeowners approximately an additional $30,000 to $40,000.
The government is further seeking to provide concessions on other material such as solar panels, as part of its long-term vision for large-scale use of renewable energy.
An essential feature of the proposed housing program is that homeowners may choose their own contractors and monitor the work of their contractors. This provides greater flexibility and control.