Seriously, prime minister?
The government’s new housing program to offer low-cost properties valued at $30,000 is commendable and gives those Bahamians who otherwise would not be able to afford a lot in today’s market the opportunity to become a landowner.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis recently announced during a contribution in the House of Assembly that civil servants, such as the police, customs officers, immigration officers and correctional officers, among others, would be given the first chance to purchase these low-priced properties. These are the same civil servants who have pensions that they don’t contribute to, what more do you want to give them?
My first reaction to this announcement was ‘Why the civil service?’ I am sure there are other deserving Bahamians who really need and deserve a hand up!
I would think that all Bahamians should be given the opportunity, based on their financial capabilities, to have access to these low-cost properties
I trust that all the conditions will be laid down and adhered to, such as building size; we have seen in previous schemes buildings erected much too big for the lots, and instead of having a single family home you have additions that house more than one family.
There should be some uniformity in the development and not just helter-skelter development, where in the end you have a slum on our hands. There should also be sufficient green spaces where children can play freely and enjoy being children without the fear of being injured by cars.
This is a good opportunity for young Bahamians to get a good start, and there should not be a place for any type of industrial buildings housing mechanics, petty shops and daycare centers .
The government has a chance to get this right, this is important, as people are investing their life savings in purchasing property in addition to building a house.
Just as the Central Bank put out a competition for the design of its building, I would suggest that the same happens with these neighborhoods. Perhaps this would be an opportune time to allow competing architects to design a state-of-the-art housing development that the owners can be proud of.
There must be some control as to the building standards, as we now have buildings that are half-finished. The designs look like they have been drawn by first-year students and they end up being a blight on the island.
Lets do it right the first time so it can be a model for future housing schemes.
- William Wong is a two-term president of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation and two-term president of the Bahamas Real Estate Association. William Wong is a partner at Darville-Wong Realty. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.