Former BMC chief refutes claim that govt. homes were overpriced

Former BMC chief refutes claim that govt. homes were overpriced

Storr says many homes were “undervalued” and Ferreira must tackle pertinent issues within his ministry

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Alex Storr, the former chairman of The Bahamas Mortgage Corporation under the Christie administration, wasted no time on Wednesday to respond to claims made by Housing Minister Romauld Ferreira, as it relates to the true cost of government homes.

Ferreira told the media on Tuesday that government homes under the former Christie administration were being sold for tens of thousands of dollars more than they were worth.

“What we found was the houses were being sold for much, much more than they were being valued,” Ferreira said. “So if you really think about it, the Bahamian citizens were getting a raw deal.

“In other words, houses valued at $140, $150 thousand were being sold  for $170 – $180 thousand. Does that benefit the people?  It begs the question. Whoever is to benefit from that the most is crying the most from the loss of that benefit.”

Yesterday, Storr, the former chairman of the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation (BMC) said he found it necessary to respond to comments made by Ferreira.

In a statement released Wednesday, Storr said although BMC was not responsible for pricing, BMC along with every banking institution in the country financed the purchases.

“I have every confidence in the professionals at the Ministry of Housing who were responsible for the pricing,” Storr said.

“As everyone knows, lending institutions will not lend you a dime more than a house is worth, and this was never an issue with any of the commercial banks.

“Their survival depends on this.

“As a matter of fact, many of these houses were actually undervalued as many times infrastructure cost, actual land value, and other incidentals were not considered in the final price.”

Storr said rather than making nonsensical, erroneous, and baseless accusations, he humbly suggests that Ferreira gets a handle on his ministry and tackle pertinent issues within his ministry, such as the houses in the Queen’s Park Subdivision that lay vacant after being completed more than a year ago; his failure to comment publicly on the alleged firing of several experienced executives at BMC; or the alleged millions of dollars in revenue shortfall BMC will be facing because of the shift in the government’s housing policy.