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1,000 new Government homes should be completed by next year
By Gena Gibbs
Jul 9, 2011 - 3:59:38 AM

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Minister of Housing. (BIS Photo / Gena Gibbs).

Nassau, The Bahamas – 700 government homes have already been built, which is 100 more than what was promised in the Government’s 2007 Manifesto. In addition, the Ministry of Housing has recently been approved the funding necessary to build up to 1,000 houses by next year.

“We have been assured of the funding we need to continue building, so rather than slow down and come to a stop, we now are going to pick up more building now because the funding is there,” said Kenneth Russell, Minister of Housing. He added that projects are ongoing in Grand Bahama and New Providence

Dignity Gardens

Minister Russell said the Ministry is starting 60 houses in Grand Bahama -- five in Eight Mile Rock, seven in a subdivision called Sunset and 48 in Wellington Heights.

" At Wellington Heights, we already have 58 homes in there that are occupied, and we are going to be going into the second phase. Once, the second phase is in progress, we are going to move to purchase the lots that the Port [GBPA] is holding for us up in Heritage and that would be 100 lots. The intention is in a few months after Wellington Heights is going, and there is no problem with moving forward, we will move over to Heritage and prepare that for the next phase of construction.”

300 homes will be built in the Gladstone Road area near Dignity Gardens on vacant service lots. (BIS Photo / Gena Gibbs).

On June 22nd, Minister Russell exclusively spoke about the plans the Ministry of Housing has put in place to offer Bahamians an opportunity to own their homes. He noted that globally, the rise of a nation’s home ownership contributes to national economic stability in tandem with raising the country’s gross domestic product.

And, "In the absence of income taxes, the government has the option of balancing out the national debt with the security of revenue from property taxes."

Minister Russell emphasised that in New Providence 23 houses are being completed at Ardastra Gardens.

Squatters, who were living on government land in the Carmichael road area, have been removed. (BIS Photo / Gena Gibbs).

"We have just been granted some land, further to the west, to increase Ardastra again by another 30 houses. As soon as we get the drawings showing where the land is, we will then seek to develop that and move forward with that immediately,” said Mr. Russell.

“We have a property of 17 lots out on Carmichael, that should start being surveyed in another week or two. We originally had it for service lots, but the persons, who wanted to buy the lots, also wanted houses, so we just built the houses on it.”

Dignity Gardens will have an additional 20 homes added to its development. (BIS Photo / Gena Gibbs).

Mr. Russell also noted that squatters living on government land in the Carmichael road area, have been removed. The crude and illegally built houses were demolished to prepare the land for construction. The Government is now building legitimately zoned residential homes, available for public sale.

“We are well on our way on Firetrail road at removing the squatters and preparing that for construction. We are building some houses in Dignity Gardens now where squatters lived before. They have been moved out," said Mr. Russell.

“We have another extension through Dignity Gardens, with another 20 houses. That survey is just about completed, and as soon as that’s completed, we will build those 20 houses.”

One of the low cost housing subdivisions being developed by the Government. (BIS Photo / Gena Gibbs).

Next to Dignity Gardens, the Government has planned to build 300 more houses after sorting out the design details within the next week or so.

“Once that is worked out and it is approved by the Ministry of Works, we then will move into that new subdivision, which will create over 300 new homes. We will start them in three phases,” said Mr. Russell.

“Phase one will be the centre where the main road comes in. By the time we finish phase one, all the infrastructure should be complete by then, and then we just roll into phase two and three.”

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