Govt. in public-private partnership for 46 Abaco homes

Govt. in public-private partnership for 46 Abaco homes
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. (BIS PHOTO/YONTALAY BOWE)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Forty-six permanent homes will be developed in Abaco and gifted to families as part of a public private partnership between the government and Discovery Land Company, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced yesterday.

He made the announcement during wrap up to the budget debate.

One of Discovery Land Company’s properties, includes the luxurious Baker’s Bay, which has 472 construction workers — 80 percent of which are Bahamian — as part of its ongoing reconstruction post-Hurricane Dorian.

“The land lease for the development of the 26 homes in Central Pines is being finalized at the AG’s Office,” the prime minister advised.

“We will also develop a subdivision in Murphy Town.

“For East Grand Bahama, members of the project management team of the Disaster Reconstruction Authority and Lands and Survey are on Grand Bahama evaluating the available properties for the development of permanent housing in Sweetings Cay, McLean’s Town and High Rock.”

The prime minister said all legal residents in Abaco are eligible to apply for housing, reiterating his administration will not allow the rebuilding of any unregulated communities.

He said the Disaster Construction Authority will meet with leaders of various communities to discuss the details of the housing program, though he did not provide a timeline.

A notice of re-qualification was advertised for the provision of a design development for mixed residential communities in Abaco, according to the prime minister.

The deadline for those submissions of interest was last Friday.

He said the authority was reviewing the submissions.

He did not state how many submissions were made.

The prime minister also said two sites have been identified for two 60 acre sites in Marsh Harbour and Wilson City.

“We are deeply and fully aware of the need for temporary housing in Abaco and Grand Bahama, however we must also address permanent housing solutions for the residents in the disaster zones,” he said.

Minnis said the authority has identified temporary housing solution for residents of Abaco and Grand Bahama and is moving forward with the erection of “domes” as well as container housing units in the disaster zones.

Dorian laid waste to portions of Abaco and Grand Bahamas last September.

Several shantytown communities were all but swept away.

The record storm cost as estimated $3.4 billion.

It displaced thousands, many of whom remain in recovery mode, and killed at least 74 people.

According to National Security minister Marvin Dames, 279 people remain missing some nine months after the storm.

Yesterday, Minnis said the Marsh Harbour Primary Care Centre, which stood Dorian, is a prime example of how buildings should be constructed to withstand storms.

About Royston Jones Jr.

Royston Jones Jr. is a senior digital reporter and occasional TV news anchor at Eyewitness News. Since joining Eyewitness News as a digital reporter in 2018, he has done both digital and broadcast reporting, notably providing the electoral analysis for Eyewitness News’ inaugural election night coverage, “Decision Now 2021”.