Wednesday 2 December, 2020

HDC breaks ground on townhouse project at Mt Hope

Photo courtesy the Housing Development Corporation (HDC).

Photo courtesy the Housing Development Corporation (HDC).

The Small and Medium Contractors (SMC) Housing Initiative has been kicked off with the breaking of ground on a 12-townhouse unit project in Mt Hope.

The Pioneer Drive Project is the first under the SMC initiative which was launched in January 2020. It’s expected to be completed in less than six months.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Edmund Dillon, St. Joseph MP Terrence Deyalsingh and HDC executives broke ground on the project on Tuesday.

HDC Managing Director Brent Lyons said low-income earners can benefit from this type of initiative.

“In addition to small and medium builders benefitting from this initiative, low-income earners who are unable to afford a mortgage on properties that are over $500,000, will also benefit.

This initiative, therefore, allows low-income earners such as the cleaner, the fast-food worker, the clerical officer or even the young self-employed earner to access affordable housing opportunities from the state.”

Minister Dillon in his address noted that the initiative will benefits applicants for State housing who do not qualify to purchase an HDC house at current construction prices.

He indicated that the HDC has provided solutions tailored to assist these individuals.

“The HDC has been adjusting and repositioning itself to better serve the needs of the clientele, particularly the 83 percent of the applicants on the public housing database who earn less than $9000 per month. These factors are what contributed to the development of the Small and Medium Contractors Housing Initiative”.

He said Government sees the new initiative as an additional economic stimulus that will positively impact the housing construction sector by creating jobs for skilled and semi-skilled workers.

The project, he said, will also generate indirect employment opportunities and satisfy some of the demand for affordable housing.

MP Deyalsingh was pleased with the project as he said it allows for “the small and medium man to get a piece of the pie”.

He added that the initiative will provide additional housing solutions for those who desire to live in that part of the country.

Also present to witness the sod-turning were Councillor Darren Winchester, HDC Chairman Noel Garcia, HDC Board members, and the three selected contractors for the project.

Once completed, these units will be allocated to eligible low-income earners from the public housing database.

Construction on other SMC projects is expected to begin within four weeks.

The SMC initiative was conceptualised to stimulate economic activity, mobilise the capacity in the construction sector and create jobs, while at the same time meaningfully addressing the high demand for housing.

All homes constructed in this programme will be done by small and medium-sized builders and will cost under $500,000.

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