August 09, 2007
For Immediate Publice Release
Minister with responsibility for Lands and Housing on Nevis Hon. Robelto Hector, reassured that the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) would continue to address the housing needs of Nevisians. His comment came during the official launch of the Golden Grove Housing Community in Brown Hill on August 03, 2007 when four young women received the keys to their new homes.
He said the Administration had paid attention to the housing deficit in the region of 800 houses and the high cost of land on the island and would adhere to its promises made just over one year ago.
Under Mr. Hector’s watch, the 12 percent administrative tax on land purchase has been removed and the price of government owned land was reduced. The provision of bigger and better low income homes also materialised.
“I say to you as the Minister moving that charge forward I am happy to report that we have done as we promised. Our vision, which is a long term vision, is to ensure that our population has adequate housing and of course any minister with the responsibility for housing would seek to put a timeframe. I have chosen today to tell you that adequate housing by the year 2020.
“I am happy to report also that we have done 22 homes over the last year. The manager reminded me that there were 20 plus homes which we met under construction, some just moving out of the foundation and we were able to complete these homes. So when I say to you 20 homes in one year, these are homes that I would say was the vision and conceptualisation of a new administration, I have not counted these 20 that we met out of foundation and we brought up,” he said.Notwithstanding, the Minister disclosed that the official launch of the Golden Grove Housing Community was not done in isolation and Bath Village, where the Administration had purchased five acres of land for housing; Craddock Road and Stoney Grove would soon have similar ceremonies.
Mr. Hector also noted, that the Administration had realised that a considerable number of applications for homes had come from the public sector and put in place a special scheme to assist civil servants.
In a partnership forged with the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board, the Minister said the NIA responded to the nation’s needs and was able to provide housing for the island’s civil servants as part of its overall housing initiative.
The Land and Housing Minister lauded the support and efforts of the management and staff of the Nevis Housing and Land Development Corporation (NHLDC), the Nevis Electricity Company and Mr. George Hunkins, the project’s contractor and all who worked on the Brown Hill project
Meantime, the Corporation’s General Manager Mr. Eustace Nisbett Jnr. said the Golden Grove Housing Project was the first housing project completed by NHLDC under the new NIA.
He said the Corporation had received 800 applications for housing and 250 for land and had recognised the need to shift its approach and focus to home construction and the sale of land to first time buyers.
“We accordingly have embarked on a new thrust to restructure our organisation in order to respond to the needs of our clients and to contribute to the sustainable development of our country through greater returns to our people while pursuing the financial viability of the Nevis Housing and Land Development Corporation”¦
“To resuscitate the Corporation, the Board of Directors had to implement and execute strict and proven strategic policies to ensure the viability of the operation, a task that resulted in the continuance, completion and commencement of some 52 homes, all within an eight month period,” he said.
Mr. Nisbett described the Corporation’s housing policy as one far reaching which played a simple yet fundamental role.
“Our policy has sought to deliver macroeconomic stability by meeting the housing aspirations of all Nevisians, encouraging the proper management of personal assets and income and at the same time creating comfortable communities. We want to ensure that these communities are sustainable and are a source of pride for their residents,” he said.
Mr. Nisbett added that the designs for the houses and the community layout were attractive, economical and environmentally friendly and were projects built on the basis of worth, identity and community pride.