New housing board selected

| 21/10/2011

(CNS): Following the arrest of an official on Monday from the National Housing Development Trust (NHDT), the minister with responsibility has appointed a new board. On Friday afternoon Mike Adam announced a new chair and list of directors, including five of the original members who had been appointed in January 2010 but who had since resigned. Both the previous chair Steve McLaughlin and the deputy chair Edlin Myles, who were two of only three remaining members, as of last week, have both been removed. 

The police have not yet named the 59-year-old George Town man who was arrested at his home last Monday under the anti-corruption law, and who is currently released on police bail, as charges have not yet been brought. Earlier this week the NHDT offices were temporarily closed down while police reportedly seized and searched the trust's computers and other files.

Expressing his confidence in the new board, Adam said the membership plans to cooperate fully with the ongoing Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) investigation into a past board member. He added  that at the same time he was looking forward to working with the new board to advance the work of the trust.

As minister with responsibility for the board and its conduct Adam has confirmed that he was aware of the investigation and that complaints and accusations had been made about a member’s conduct. The member is believed to have abused his position to sell insurance to the NHDT clients in East End but the minister has not yet stated what he knew about the allegations against the George Town man.

A number of board members who had resigned last year and during the course of this year said this week that they had no part in the activities that have taken place since they resigned but it has not been made clear why so many members had stepped down. It is understood that for the last few months only five members were left on the board and the regulations requiring a quorum of five had been waived to allow the board to carry out its work with only three members present. Then last week two more members left shortly before one of the remaining three was arrested.

However, a number of those who had resigned have now returned. Rayal Bodden, who left in July of last year, has returned to chair the trust’s board and Allan Bush, Michael Godfrey, Ann-Marie Powell and Jaron Jackson, who all resigned over the course of this year, have now re-joined the board. Joining the veterans as new members are Terry-Ann Arch and Delia Hydes.

The NHDT was created in 2003 to make housing available to low-income applicants through the affordable homeowners and build on your own property initiatives, as well as the Government Guaranteed Housing Assistance Mortgages. The trust has operations in West Bay and East End. Workwill soon be completed on a redevelopment in the Windsor Park area of George Town.

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Comments (34)

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  1. The Truth is Out There says:

    When is the Govenor going to do the same with the Premier and the UDP? 

  2. Anonymous says:

    UDP Theory states that "as the pay per meeting increases, then so does the frequency of meetings."

    I have heard rumours that they were meeting once per week.

    • Anonymous says:

      The number of times theNHDT board meets would have to depend on the number of applications to deal with. 

      Afterall, it would seem as if there is a back log of applications to deal with. This would go alot smoother if they had a banker, preferably someone who knows about lending, what to look for in an application, say debt service, and assessing loan applications.

      I don't have a problem with them meeting every day, providing they are processing the back log of applications and doing the board's business.

      In any event, the new board would not want to sit around in a board room doing nothing since they all have jobs to go to anyway.

  3. peter milburn says:

    I myself have served on a couple of Govt boards but for one reason or another they did not last too long due to differences of opinion re board decisions.I have never been nor will I ever be a party member due to the fact that I feel that ever since the advent of the party system we as an Island have been torn apart and we have now become THEM vs US with a few exceptions of some of us being neutral.To see what has now become the "norm"re board members getting "paid" huge amounts in some cases to serve on said boards is in itself shocking to say the least..I think we were paid CI$50 per board meeting when on the NRA board.How can those persons live with themselves accepting such "LARGE" stipends when there are so many "needy"folks out there that could well have done with money.Many people including myself have given of their time to serve on WORTHWHILE boards and have never ever taken a stipend for we know that the work we do will help someone out there in need to live a better more comfortable life.I do not consider many of the Govt boards to be all that worthwhile except to help the "Party"system and hopefully before too long we can get boards made up of folks who want to help Cayman and not themselves.I keep hearing thats the way it is with Govts but we need to change that level of thinking mentality and move on to better ways of dealing with todays problems.We need to serve on boards with the thought in mind that we can and will make a differnce to the running of this country and not be there just for the sake of the monetary rewards.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am truly amazed at the headlines, its most shocking and disturbing. When I served on boards under the Ministers such as Mr Truman and Mr Jefferson I began with a fee of $80 per meeting which after some years was increased to $100. This amount is an injustice to the Public and should immediately be ammended. Who wouldnt want to be earning that amount of money.We would like to know what the other Boards such as the Immigration is being paid.

    • Anonymous says:

      Take it from me, the immigration board is underpaid. Those members, especially the staffing plan board, work all 7 hours a day and deserve the current stipend plus much more.

  5. Richard N. Parson says:

    Why hasn't name of the person arrested appeared on this forum?  Isn't it public knowledge?  

    • Anonymous says:

      No, it isn't officially public knowledge yet. (See how carefully the particulars of the individual have been reported but not his name.) Obviously some people have informed guesses but hopefully CNS will delete any such guesses if they are posted to avoid the potential legal problems.

      I'm actually surprised that so many particulars have been reported. It might be that the press and the law societies could look into, for the future, what sort of information could/should be reported in future cases to avoid informed guesses. With the wealth of information available (and that has allways been available) reporting things such as occupation&age&gender&district&board is almost as good as reportng a name in some instances. One clearly falls afoul of the law and good taste. The other? Maybe its time for an open debate on the line between the two.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you earn more than that on your job? I can only imagine that you have a job. Most Board members do.One should be happy to serve their Country especially in decision making at a time like this. Remember that its the Boards that run the Country, this is why its so important that the very best and intelligent people are chosen.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Can it really be that the Minister was so clueless that 5 board members would resign over a year ago and he would not find out why? Why did it have to take an arrest in order for the Chairman and Deputy Chairman to be removed? 

    • Anonymous says:

      From what I have read on CNS in the different articles, 5 did not all resign last year; some last year and some this year.  I think it says somewhere as well that the investigation has been ongoing for a while, so maybe the police didn't want the Minister to interfere at the time? Just my educated guess from what I can read.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Another board already? Is this not a little fishy?  Before anything is investigated or released they have already appointed a new board?  Talk about sweeping it under the rug….

    • Anonymous says:

      In this instance, I believe the Minister and Cabinet has acted in the best interests of the Cayman Islands by swiftly appointing another full Board. You have to ask yourselves, what would be the benefit of not appointing another full Board with such speed?


      Without a new Board the operations of the Trust would surely suffer from lack of direction and authority. Without a Board, everything would have to go to the Minister for approval which is not how it is suppose to be.


      If the Minister did not appoint another full Board then the public would be criticising him for NOT doing so with speed.


      Either some people are not thinking before they speak/type or are just out to stir trouble.

  8. Anonymous says:

    TO " Everyone knows who this 59 yr old man is".  YOU are not alone. I thought I knew who he was. I lost $200.00 when I made a bet that it was the man with all the gray beards. They told me that the man I named is 100 years old, and that they are sure that it was not him. So, that makes 2 of us that do not know,just that I am out of pocket of $200.00

  9. Anonymous says:

    this little project seems tobe coming along nicely.  Just a little fine tuning.

  10. Whodatis says:

    The following is a bit off topic but is a genuine enquiry.

    I understand that these government-built homes are bungalow-styled single unit structures.

    In most other jursidictions public housing tends to be constructed in multi-level or multi-unit structures. I am guessing the reasons for doing so are related to maximisation of available space and to reduce overall building costs.

    Why do we not follow this format in the Cayman Islands?

    A new home is quite a luxury for even a middle income family today so I am bit confused over the way in which our government has chosen to go about these projects.

    Furthermore, logic would suggest that the alternative format may speed up the housing of our disadvantaged people altogether.

    Hopefully someone will be able to enlighten me on this situation.

    • Anonymous says:

      two words "The Projects" we don't want that kind of development here thank you very much

      • Anonymous says:

        I'm pretty sure whodatis wasn't suggesting a 'project's type development, maybe more like condo's, it's measurably cheaper to build and own a condo vs a house and arguabl\\y afaster build.  To coin an americanism more bang for your buck.

        I don't see anything wrong with that.  Cheaper to run, cheaper to build, makes the limited money available help the most amouint. All pretty good suggestions in my book. 

        • Whodatis says:

          Thanks for that.

        • Anonymous says:

          Two words. Randyke Gardens. Cheaper to run, except when nobody pays the common (strata) fees and the rest of the country has to bail them out.

          • Anonymous says:

            Fair point, but Randyke's been a depressed complex for many a year.  I do think that they need a better structure than the regular strata set up as most people seem to ignore their obligation.  Maybe it should be taken straight off the top of any government subsidies, or at source like the pension payments are, or like we do, let people work off the money owed by cutting the grass or other tasks that would normally be paid out of strata funds.

            To be honest it makes no difference to civic duty whether you have a house or apartment, if you are that way inclined it will end up with a run down yard and car parts strewn over it whether you are meant to take care of it yourself or duck out of strata payments, same result.

            It could be done right but it would need someone to doo it right and maybe that's the stretch.


    • Anonymous says:

      Well, let's think about that……in any other country where there is government housing and is multi-story and multi-units, there is the highest amount of crime i.e.: drugs, violence, abuse, rape etc. due to the fact that there are a ntumber of individuals living so closely/tightly together with to sense of purpose/pride.  I thinki what the government has researched over the years and why they hav chosen this path, is to give people a sense of real ownership. Allowed them to have something they can be proud of and in turn, take care of.

      It's amazing that people want to pretend to defend the poorer class in certain situations, but then want to give them nothing and put them in an 800 sq ft. apartment with their family, because that's more cost efficient right now?  Won't be later when we're paying for all the crime.

    • Whodatis says:

      Thank you both for your responses.

      I actually suspected as much, however, I am quite certain that these new homes are of a greater square footage than a few of my acquaintances that are looking to purchase (first time) property today.

      E.g. There are 900 sq.ft. "luxury / modern" apartments selling for $200,000 on island now.

      * All of the individuals in mind are relatively young, single, professional Caymanians. (Are we meant to consider these people as the "lower / project / ghetto class"?)

      (That was not intended as a combative rhetorical question – I am simply examining the situation.)

      Basically, I suspect that generally, the costs within the property market has not advanced in tandem with inflation and price-per-square-foot calculations … if that makes any sense. (E.g. A "small / low income" apartment in the 1980's is what qualifies as a standard (900 sq.ft.) first time buyer's home today.)

      Yet another illustration of how ass-backwards our western economy has become!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting, very interesting.

  12. Anonymous says:

    More UDP trouble! More trouble in the UDP! More trouble in the government! When will all this stop? It is time for new elections, we cannot survive the UDP government & all the uncertainty that comes with them until May 2013! There is one question after the other. They can no longer govern under this very large dark cloud of suspicion. They must go now!!!!!

    • Time to Change says:

      Time to March….. Time to Write the backbenchers…….Time to Help Ezzard and Arden. All this Government can do is Talk and more Talk. Constantly DART  ing from  MOU to MOU to the plane and flying around the World and acheiving NOTHING FOR CAYMAN

  13. Anonymous says:

    I would like for Foolio to tell us how much money was used to build how many homes.

    From my calculations, it comes out to over  300K, and that's in CI$, per house!!!! WTF?????

    Sounds like some nice "low income" homes to me!

    One thing for sure, if poor people built them, "they na po no mo"!!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Everyone knows who the 59 year old GeorgeTown man IS EXCEPT ME. This is ridiculous

  15. Anonymous says:

    More political appointees. This is a farce.

    • Anonymous says:

      Should not matter who they support as long as they are able to get the job done. At the end of the day we have one thing in common- we are all Caymanians, so let's be more caring of each other.

      Should the PPM win the next election they will do the same thing – put their supporters on the boards.

      It's the way of politics, but most importantly, we should be more concerned with the results of the board.

      They still seem to be missing someone from the commercial banks that would bring more of a balance to the group. None of these members seem to have any experience with finance.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey say what you want about the PPM, but I don't remember there being investigations and fingerpointing by the police or the Gov. about them being currupt.

        I am at a total lost on the mentality of some of our voters. We are so quick to get caught up in the personalities of politics and forget about making a sound choice.

        Some of us make our choice by listening to whom can bark the loudest!!! Well, for all of you who thought that some "talk show host" was the answer, I hope your happy with the turn out.

        Find it funny that some people was so against the UDP, and then they turned around to run on the UDP ticket.

        HMMM, the love and lust for money and power.