OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOK: BCA chief believes govt’s housing plans could boost local construction

OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOK: BCA chief believes govt’s housing plans could boost local construction
(FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamian Contractors Association (BCA) President Michael Pratt said yesterday that the government’s pledge to increase access to affordable housing and develop new subdivisions via public-private partnerships (PPPs) could provide positive stimulus for the local construction industry.

Governor General CA Smith delivers the Speech from the Throne on Wednesday. (BIS/LETISHA HENDERSON)

The Davis administration, in the Speech from the Throne last week, noted that it considers housing to be a basic right.

“Through programmes and policies, it will increase access to affordable homes,” the government stated.

“New subdivisions will be developed using public-private partnerships. My government will return to building houses for Bahamians.”

Pratt told Eyewitness News: “I think it is a positive thing in the sense that construction has continued to stimulate our economy. It kept going.

“We believe that these initiatives could strengthen it even more. There should be more sharing of the economic pie to the average contractor. That is what we are hoping that we will see.”

Pratt also expressed optimism that the industry would see greater regulation when the Contractor’s Board is put in place.

BCA President Michael Pratt.

“We are even more hopeful we will have some traction with regards to the Contractor’s Board,” said Pratt.

“When that happens, I think we will have a lot more regulation of the industry.

“We need to change the image of the industry. People still look at the construction industry in a negative sense. While we have some bad apples, like any other industry, we can benefit from regulation.”

The Contractor’s Board was intended to oversee the construction industry’s self-regulation.