The government has already sold out 20 lots in two subdivisions within its Access to Affordable Homes Programme, according to Minister of the Environment and Housing Romauld Ferreira.
“The government service lots initiative is moving very, very well,” Ferreira told reporters on Monday.
“We have completed actually the Lionel Davis Subdivision which is in Romer Street, Fox Hill, which adds some more to the inventory.
“Up next is the big one, Carmichael Village, which everyone is excited about.
“We reconfigured the subdivision…so we can get much more lots.
“We have already engaged persons to do the engineering deigns, which will layout the subdivisions, do the typographies, so we are moving forward aggressively.”
The government’s program began with a shaky start last year after 85 percent of the people seeking to purchase lots failed to qualify due to their financial constraints.
Service-ready lots are being offered for as low as $15,000.
The government is anticipating having more than 100 of these properties available over the course of this fiscal year, with more than 300 ultimately offered to Bahamians.
Currently, only those in the uniformed services are eligible to apply, but that’s expected to expand to the general public in the future, though at what point is unclear.
Asked about individuals not being able to afford to the lots, Ferreira said, “That criticism isn’t founded in reality. The subdivisions that we’ve done so far which is Lionel Davis and Sunset Close Subdivision, the persons have been issued, not just money for the lands but money to complete the homes as well. So the homes are in progress.”
Ferreira himself suggested last August that “predatory lenders” were the reason many people failed to qualify for the loans.
He added yesterday, “What we’ve found, under the previous administration and under the previous regime, was that the houses were being sold for much, much more than they were actually being valued. So if you really think about it, the Bahamian citizens were getting a raw deal.
“In other words, houses valued at $140,000/$150,000 were being sold for $170,000/$180,000. So I mean, how does that enure to the benefit of the people?”
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications