Affordable Housing finance comes through

| 26/03/2009

(CNS): The government said, Thursday, that the Central Tenders Committee has approved the issue of the US$14.5 million bond to be used for low cost housing on Grand Cayman. Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts said that this is the second tranche of financing to the National Housing Development Trust (NHDT) and it will be used for completing site preparation and constructing of the affordable homes in all of the districts of Grand Cayman. (Left: an affordable home on Cayman Brac)

Speaking at the weekly media press briefing, Tibbetts announced that the NHDT was making arrangements with Bank of Butterfield for the award of the bond. “Today, NHDT authorities will be holding discussions with the bank to discuss the agreement further, reporting back to the CTC to ensure that all criteria of the bond arrangement are met,” he said.

Despite the confirmation of the next tranche of money, Tibbetts said it did not affect the government’s net debt ratio as the expectation to guarantee up to $28 million had been made at the very start of the project in 2001 and was therefore already accounted for in government guarantee borrowing, despite the fact that the money had not yet been borrowed.

Gaining access to financing would now however, allow the development of the much-needed affordable housing to proceed immediately on a number of sites around the island as there are currently 752 applications registered with the NHDT.

In East End, 59 single family lots are planned in Phase I on the 9.38 acre site off John McLean Drive. In West Bay. Tibbetts said a second site near the Lighthouse has been vested to the NHDT covering 8.5 acres, where a total of 50 single and multi-family lots are proposed. Meanwhile in Bodden Town, planning approval is being sought at the site where 55 single and multi-family lots are being proposed and in George Town, planning approval for the 71 lot subdivision for the Fairbanks site has been received and final survey work is now underway.

He also said that the existing affordable homes have not stood the test of time, and need to be replaced with new concrete structures. “The first site slated for this phased redevelopment is the Eastern Avenue site,” Tibbetts explained.  “Planning approval will be submitted tomorrow (Friday, 27 March) for multi-family apartments contained in three-storey units. Tendering for construction is anticipated by July.

In North Side he said an eight-acre parcel of land had been identified, but because the owner is untraceable there will have to be a compulsory purchase order made before work on the homes as well as a planned seniors’ home can begin.

“We recognise that in these troubled economic times the need for affordable housing will become more urgent than ever, so the approval of the bond is very timely indeed.  I look forward to seeing the new affordable homes under construction in fairly short order, and, perhaps more importantly, as these homes are completed, I look forward to seeing the families moving into their new affordable homes,” he said.

Over on the Sister Islands, he said construction of the first four homes in Cayman Brac was completed in December 2008. Since then, the CTC has awarded the contract for Phase 2 to DSS Contractors for four houses more houses. He said the Sister Islands Affordable Housing Development Corporation (SIAHDC) has so far received some 44 applications.

SIAHDC is a government-funded non-profit company that manages the affordable housing programme on the Brac and is a separate entity to NHDT.

Tibbetts said that other housing initiatives were also going well, in particular the Government Guaranteed Home Assisted Mortgage, or “GGHAM” programme. “The demand for the programme was so great that the initial $30 million that the banks agreed to lend over the first 5 years of the programme was used up in just one year,” he said, adding that the commitment from the banks had been doubled. “To date, close to 150 Caymanian families have been the beneficiaries of this programme, with some 60 applications pending.”

 He also said that the Build on Your Own Property Programme continues to receive applications from those who own their own property but need a bit of assistance in getting their home built.  “Two homes have been completed under this programme, and there are five more pre-approved applications which will be proceeding in short order,” LoGB added.

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Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh… and  don’t forget to give credit to the UDP for leaving the funding in place to complete this worthy project.  Enuf said.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Really now…I don’t like Julianna personally (she spells her name different for every occasion/election) but I remember hearing her on the Radio on a LA Broadcast being quite adamant that the Low Cost Housing in Cayman Brac be build in concrete and at a much higher standard than those in Cayman so give the girl some credit for goodness sake.

    • Anonymous says:

      She is getting credit, it just that PPM finished what UDP started. Don’t spend so many hours under the tent.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If anyone wants to know  whether Cayman Brac has received any new funding during the current LOGB’s term – then why don’t you simply look for the information that is available to all members of the public in the gov.ky website –  search some of the Budget/Purchase Agreements for the few  years. 

    If you will look at the comments above, Sat 03/28/09 – 08:53 this anonymous person is correct. The money trail leads back to the previous government.  A proper audit of Affordable Housing on Cayman Brac will let the public know where the money came from and where it has gone.

    Cayman Brac needs more than four Affordable Houses per year. Hello, trailer homes, Hurricane Paloma, 44 applications and only four houses are being built!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    …"I think if you check carefully you’ll find that there is a contract out already for more homes in Cayman Brac. Yes LOGB thanks to your hard work and that of MR. Kirkconnell the problems of Grand Cayman were not repeated in Cayman Brac."….

    Kurt should have dealt with Grand Cayman’s problems first and built senseable affordable housing here for his people instead of running off and having a jolly good time in the Brac – staring at the bottom of a glass – as always.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sorry to disapoint, but the LOGB only carried forward what was already mandated by the UDP to build homes in the Brac. Give credit were credit is due to the UDP and Julianna. Kurt and Moses on carried forward with the paln and did not scrap it like other projects. Must have been money in it for someone…hands washing hands.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry to disappoint you but really what Kurt, Moses and the PPM did was straighten out the mess left by the UDP & Julianna. You may recall that under the UDP,  Cayman Brac would have gotten the same junk that was built in Grand Cayman. Instead Cayman Brac took some but did the job right. The ones who have benefited from the program are the new home owners. It may surprise you who 50% are considering they moved in under a PPM government.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone else out their in cyber-world notice that no mention was made about any new approved funding for Cayman Brac?  Thanks LOGB – native Bracker????? Way to look out for us!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think if you check carefully you’ll find that there is a contract out already for more homes in Cayman Brac. Yes LOGB thanks to your hard work and that of MR. Kirkconnell the problems of Grand Cayman were not repeated in Cayman Brac.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Actually, Cayman Brac’s affordable housing is much better than in Grand Cayman, I have seen them. They are much better built, much stronger and to top it off a good 40 feet above sea level and built on solid ground.

    They are similar to the Frank Hall homes here in Grand Cayman. Which our Government should have been building for our Caymanian People.

    Well – Maybe the NEXT government will do something about it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    To the poster who wrote at 00:47 about setting the brac on fire thats not a good idea because the way Grand Cayman is goin the good LORD is gonna set that on fire so better leave the brac, have a nice day!! UFOOL

  9. Ventisha Conolly says:

    Sometimes we wonder how in the world people who make comments like"put them all on Cayman Brac and set the island on fire" even exist in our society….to the poster who said that comment – I know you don’t live on Cayman Brac for one and you weren’t bold enough to state your name because being a BRACKER, I would rather have the opposite happen.  My paradise though small and still developing is the best place to live, raise children, put your child through the public education system and retire.  So please find a deserted spot in Grand Cayman where you can set those criminals on fire and LEAVE MY ISLAND ALONE!!!!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is this what we have come to?????

    As a hard working, educated young caymanian, if I want someplaceof my own all I can afford is "Afforadalbe Housing"????

    Can someone tell me how this is fair when the Kim Lunds of Cayman are selling our land to foreingers and they can build whatever they want, but yet I got to stick with "affordable housing".!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Eight weeks before election we are going to get some homes for the people who were unfortunate in their loss from Ivan.

    One week for the designers/architects/surveyors.

    One week in planning for the red card issue.

    One week for site preparation.

    One week to choose the builders through public tenders committe ( skip that…just get the singing contractors… Tom Jones…the ones who are singing whilst building the school in Frank Sound…the "she wears my ring" guys)

    One week to build and finish.

    One week for land scaping.

    One week to move the new owners in.

    One week of celebration and then election….

    In eight weeks we would set a record and impress the EU funders, in eight weeks the govt would finish some thing and some body would win an election just like that. We could send the trailers to Katrina victims and soothe some fellow sufferers .

     

  12. Anonymous says:

     "One would think with the amount of crime that has recently occurred on Grand Cayman they would locate the lower income housing developments in a remote location with a heavy RCIP presence"        This was the first post in this article.

    Are you implying it is the lower income people that are responsible for crime in our islands? You are really hateful to assume such a thing. Not because people have a small income means they are murderers & thieves. Most of these people applying for affordable housing are hard working individuals. Get off your high horse.

     

  13. Anonymous says:

    great ….so 59 homes are planned in East End. tell that the families that have been waiting for them since 2006! i live in east End and i know a thing or two about the affordable homes plan in East End. There has been basically no talk about East End when it comes to affordable houses. Until now of course when the minister is doing his election thing.

  14. Anonymous says:

    more borrowing again..wil this government not learn anything? i just read yesterday that they will have about a 30 million deficit. the PPM does not seem to understand what it means to prioritise things. we all understand that the country does not have all the resources, but at least they should be managing them better.

  15. Anonymous says:

    can someone tell me why this is being done just 8 weeks away from the elections? so people did not need their homes during thepast 4 years? typical government.

    there are 2 families I know in George Town. one on school house road and another in prospect.who both have been trying to get one of thes houses since just after the hurricane. talk about a disaster.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hats off to the Brackers for avoiding the mess that was in Grand Cayman and doing it right.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The affordable housing intiative has not improved under the PPM. There are still so many persons without a proper home due to the bureacracy of the whole proces and inneficiencies in government. my aunt has been working with the government to get an "affordable" home for more than 18 months. The entire process is a farce. 

  18. Anonymous says:

    I am a complete advocate for affordable housing, however does it strike anyone else as odd the proposed developments are spread throughout the island? One would think with the amountof crime that has recently occurred on Grand Cayman they would locate the lower income housing developments in a remote location with a heavy RCIP presence. Based soley on the dissent recently posted on Caymannewsservice, where a location with heavy RCIP presence remains to be identified. Here is my proposal…get everyone out of Cayman Brac,relocate them to high income housing in Grand Cayman for their troubles and inconvience,take everyone who has been convicted of assult,rape,murder,drug related charges,and any serious crime. Ship them all to Brac set the island on fire have all the RCIP boats patroling the waterfront, fire all immigration employees and hire trustworthy accountable individuals who will protect this island and will bring the safehaven Cayman was back to reality….wow maybe I should run for office

    Sincerly,
    A concerned frequent visitor to paradise

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re kidding right? Cayman Brac is the best island of all three.  Low income housing doesn’t mean that they are criminals.  This isn’t the US.  These are people who can’t afford to buy a piece of land and build a home.  I know several of them and they are not criminals.  They are good people who live on very low wages.  They are not druggies and alcoholics.  They are not all single mothers although some are.  I would like to add that I am not a recepient myself but it is a good thing to see someone who has been without a home for years to have a home of their own.  I am proud when I see my friends get something.

      As for crime, people need to talk more about what they see and they have no excuse just call the help line in Miami.