House to debate land resolution for affordable homes programme

House to debate land resolution for affordable homes programme
Minister of the Environment and Housing Romauld Ferreira. (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Government will seek approval for the conveyance of 1.2 acres of land in the Fox Hill community under a resolution to be introduced in the House of Assembly today.

The land will be developed for the sale of serviced lots, and is part of the Government’s commitment to develop new subdivisions to address the demand for affordable housing and homeownership.

The focus of the Department of Housing is on installing the necessary infrastructure on land to be developed and sold at cost to first-time homeowners in New Providence and the Family Islands, rather than selling already constructed homes.

The availability of these serviced lots will allow more Bahamians access to affordable homes, said Minister of the Environment and Housing the Hon. Romauld Ferreira who will lead the debate on the Resolution.

“The Ministry began preliminary work on this property in early 2014, those works included the initial clearing of the property for the surveying of the proposed site and design of a small subdivision,” said Ferreira.

“The subdivision will comprise 10 serviced lots that will be sold to young Bahamians and will be called the Lionel Davis Subdivision.”  These new serviced lots are part of the Government’s new access to affordable homes programme.

The late Lionel Davis served as the Member of Parliament for the Fox Hill constituency from 1968 to 1977.  He was one of the founding members of the modern-day Fox Hill Festival.

Under the Access to Affordable Homes Act 2018, owners of serviced lots in a government-approved subdivision may apply to the Minister of Finance for exemption from customs duties and excise tax on all materials necessary to construct a single-family dwelling home.

The Ministry of the Environment and Housing launched its serviced lots initiative in July 2018 with the opening of Sunset Close Subdivision.

This serviced lots initiative gives Bahamians who ordinarily could not afford a home of their own, access to affordable housing.

Serviced lot owners are able to construct their own homes using their own contractor and architect or use pre-existing housing plans offered by the Government.

The serviced lots in Sunset Close were sold for under $20,000 to police officers, defence force officers, customs officers and teachers, said Ferreira. A number of mortgages have also been approved for the construction of homes.

The lots in Lionel Davis Subdivision are expected to be sold for a similar price, he added.

The Minister emphasized that serviced lots are available to all Bahamians who qualify, including civil servants.

The Department of Housing has identified land for subdivision development in Abaco, Andros, San Salvador and Carmichael Village Subdivision in New Providence