Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 01, 2017 (SKNIS): A ground breaking ceremony was held at Cunningham Heights in Cayon on March 01, marking the Government of National Unity’s commitment to providing affordable homes for the poor and indigent of the nation.
Minister of Housing, Honourable Eugene Hamilton, said that the style of the new homes will remain the same as previous National Housing Corporation (NHC) homes. However, the significant difference is in the size. The dimensions have increased from 780 square feet to 862 square feet. The bedroom sizes have increased from 12×9 to 12×12 and 12×14.
The bathroom sizes have also increased from 40 square feet to 56 square feet. The houses will be painted and tiled, and kitchen cupboards and other features will be installed.
The minister said that what is even more significant is the change from shingle to galvalume roofs.
“We have made the decision that poor people must get a house with a hard roof,” he said. “So, we have engaged a local businessman, someone who is actually doing business here in Cayon, to be the one who would be manufacturing. I say manufacturing because we are getting the product, but it won’t be totally finished. Work has to go on to produce the galvalume that will go on these roofs and so I want to thank him for taking on our challenge and thank NHC for giving locals the opportunity to benefit our country.”
The housing project will be carried out in three six month phases, amounting to a total of 18 months, said the minister.
“In the first six months, we are looking at somewhere between the vicinity of 100 to 120 homes that will be constructed,” he said. “We are commencing here and here on this ground we have the opportunity to do as many as 50.”
The minister assured persons that even though the groundbreaking took place at Cunningham Heights, the government will shortly break ground for building in other areas.
Minister Hamilton thanked citizens and residents for their patience in the construction of the homes.
“I say patience because I know that housing is always in great demand and after two years I could understand your impatience, but after two years, Team Unity has delivered with three more years to go. You will be satisfied with the Team Unity Government,” he said.
He also encouraged persons, in particular from the private sector, to take on the challenge to build their own homes.
Minister Hamilton assured persons that the government will use an equitable approach in NHC so that persons who receive homes funded and constructed by NHC will feel that the government’s methods have been fair, the work will be of high quality and their new homes will be the largest investment in their lifetime, a place that they will be comfortable to call home.
The minister thanked Social Security for assisting the government with a loan of $ 50 million to carry out the project.
Minister Hamilton said that the $50 million will be used to build a minimum of 300 housing solutions.
Cunningham Heights will accommodate a possible 50 affordable homes. The location is approximately half an acre and over some 60 square feet of it is marked out for recreational activities.
Other areas included in the housing solutions project include Crab Hill, Abbot, Newton Ground, Stone Castle, Dieppe Bay, Mansion, Lavington, Stapleton, Conaree, Estridge and Wellington Road.