Acting General Manager of the NHC, Lanette Napoleon-Young, makes a point to??Minister of Housing, Michael Lashley; and Acting Deputy General Manager of the NHC, Garvey Alleyne. In the background are a block of the two-bedroom units at Stuart’s Lodge, Carrington Village.??

The Ministry of Housing and Lands and the National Housing Corporation (NHC) will, in a few weeks, launch new initiative to meet the large local demand for quality and affordable housing.

Housing Minister, Michael Lashley, made this announcement today, while touring a new construction sites at Forde’s Road, where 16 rental units are being built by the NHC; and at Stuarts Lodge, Tweedside Road, which is being constructed by a small contractor.

He outlined that the new starter home project was designed to meet the housing needs of the approximately 15,000 persons on the NHC’s waiting list, who could not afford to purchase land or a house.

Acting General Manager of the NHC, Lanette Napoleon-Young, points out a feature in one of the unit’s at Stuart’s Lodge,?? Tweedside Road, to (l-r)?? Minister of Housing, Michael Lashley; and Acting Deputy General Manager of the NHC, Garvey Alleyne. Partially hidden is??Managing Director??of ADC Building and Maintenance Ltd., Adrian Christie.

?? "To further satisfy the lower income bracket we have conceptualised a new starter home project and we have actually looked at a house costing between $70,000 and $100,000, made of wall and wood… Once we construct the house … and you add the land, which is $15,000 on 3000 square feet ??because… it is part of the $5.00 per square foot 500 lots programme, the house would come in at $85,000.?? This is very economical and will be attractive to many Barbadians," Minister Lashley pointed out.??

The Housing Minister stated that the house was designed to suit the lower income market and his Ministry was open to attaining further designs, in this regard.?? ??????????????????

Two model homes will be built at Woodbourne in St. Philip to demonstrate that the houses could be erected at that cost.?? "The house will be constructed with no frills and we will try to make it as liveable as possible… When I say no frills… I mean very basic finishes inside… those finishes add to the costs, so we will remove those finishes to bring the cost of the house down," he explained.

??A tender has already been published for the infrastructural work and it is hoped that once the contract has been awarded, within two to three weeks the infrastructural work should begin.

??"From there on we will go out to the public to tender in relation to construction of the houses … The NHC will lend technical expertise and provide full project management for the small contractors," the Housing Minister stated.

Minister Lashley also revealed that the NHC had received a $10 million draw down" of the $40 million from First Caribbean International Bank to construct residential houses for sale, over a five year period.?? The "draw downs" from the loan will be used to finance the construction of residential houses for the NHC; the cash inflows from the sale of the houses will be used as a rolling stock fund to finance the construction of more residential houses; and the revolving loan will be repayable in 28 equal quarterly payments, commencing 15 months after the first draw down.????

Minister of Housing, Michael Lashley, chats with one of the workers at the site of the housing units under??construction at Forde’s Road, St. Michael.

The funds will be used to construct 126 houses at Parish Land; 69 at River Crescent and 500 at Bushy Park, in St. Philip; 60 at West Terrace/Durants, 40 at Lancaster I and 41 at Lancaster II in St. James; and 400 at Spring Garden, St. Lucy.

Minister Lashley disclosed that he was anxious to get the starter home project under way, not only to house lower income persons, but to drive economic activity by contracting small contractors to take part in national housing projects.????

"I am pleased with the work of small contractors at Marchfield.?? They did excellent work and they have done excellent work at French Village and in fact a small contractor is building the units at Tweedside Road on a public/private sector partnership.?? In fact, he is financing the project and the NHC is paying the stage payments," the Minister revealed.

The 20 two bedroom units at Fordes Road are projected to be completed by July 2011 and the units at Tweedside Road by September/October of this year.?? Minister Lashley was accompanied by acting General Manager at the NHC, Lanette Napoleon-Young; and acting Deputy Manager, Garvey Alleyne.??lbayley@barbados.gov.bb

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