“It is becoming increasingly difficult for the Bahamian middle class to secure a home”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Shortages on building materials and supplies brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic will likely impact aspiring homeowners the most, according to a former Bahamian Contractors Association (BCA) president.
Stephen Wrinkle argued that the government must look at policy changes to ensure that Bahamians can access concessions similar to foreign direct investors.
The former BCA president told Eyewitness News that the pandemic has further exposed the inequity between Bahamian and foreign developers, and he called on the government to enact policies that will allow for greater inclusion of Bahamians.
“Right now, there are lots of delays on materials and everything is getting backed up,” he said.
“Shipments are having to be reordered, and in some cases, partial shipments are coming. It’s manifesting itself more every week.
“Doors and windows [are] big backorder items and if you get to that stage and don’t have them, then it impedes completion time.
“Lumber suppliers have done a phenomenal job keeping lumber supplies rolling. Sometimes there are shortages in some lengths, but if you shop around, you are almost certain to find the length you need.”
Wrinkle noted that while larger construction projects have clauses that allow for cost increases on materials, for the average homeowner, their loan or mortgage is based on a particular figure and completion schedule.
“It is becoming increasingly difficult for the Bahamian middle class to secure a home,” said Wrinkle.
“Banks are becoming more difficult to deal with and there is very little accommodation [with] regards to financing mortgages.
“Government needs to do something with regards to local financing. Banks are not dictating all the matters of finance.
“The mega projects have their own financing, have direct supply lines as well as duty-free concessions that Bahamians don’t enjoy. We as Bahamians pay premium price for everything while the foreigner gets all kinds of concessions to come and build.
“Clearly that has to change.”