St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN); As the Unity government launches its first housing project since taking office, the National Housing Corporation is promising to deliver bigger and more affordable homes for citizens.
The $50 million funding for the project was secured through a loan from the Social Security Scheme.
Valentine Lindsay, NHC Board Chairman, speaking at Friday’s launch of the government’s housing solution on Wellington Road:
“Larger bedrooms, larger bathrooms, and a new design for our people. The strawberry and guava berry designs, which are the designs presently used by the NHC, we are chartering the Corporation to ensure that a new design will come forward so that we will have a design under the Unity Administration.”
Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Human Settlement, under whose purview the NHC falls, spoke to the importance of home ownership to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“The hopes and dreams of a wealthy nation while hinged on a more educated populace is also inexplicitly linked to more and more of our indigenous people owning land and property in our federation.
“The NHC is mandated by its parent act to provide housing for the poor and indigent among us. The Ministry is happy that the designs that will be used in this program, the strawberry design, the guava berry design, and the HS500 option design. However modifications have been done to the size of the bedrooms, which have been increased from 12ft by 9 ft, which could only hold a small bed, to a 12ft by 12ft or in some cases 12ft by 14ft, fitting twin beds, so that the ordinary poor people of the country will have a much larger bedroom which could at least hold a dressing table as well.”
Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris says this batch of homes will be the first tranche of his administration’s commitment of constructing 300 homes over the next two or three years.
“This housing development launch is a step in the right direction in meeting the basic needs for the decency and dignity of our people. We are pleased to report that today’s official launch is the first of some three tiers in the construction of 300 new and improved homes.”
He said while those houses will fall under NHC, the government would look to Public and Private Partnerships to broaden and expand the scope of home ownership for the people.
“We aim, over the next ten years, to provide the greatest number of housing solutions every provided by any administration in living memory.”
Under this program, homeowners will pay monthly mortgage interest based on their salary level. The NHC Chairman told WINN FM that persons earning under $3500 would pay two percent, persons under $4000 would pay four percent, and persons making over $5000 would pay five percent.