The development of more than 300 service lots in the Carmichael Village subdivision is underway as part of the government’s Access to Affordable Homes Programme, The Nassau Guardian understands.
Minister of the Environment and Housing Romauld Ferreira could not confirm an estimated completion date yesterday, however, an official in the ministry said the subdivision is only awaiting approvals at this stage.
“We’re just waiting on the large one – the Carmichael Village – which is 365 lots. But since it’s a new subdivision, it’s taking a little bit longer for everything to get approved,” the official disclosed.
“It’s cleared, it just needs to get approved. All the engineering stuff need to get done on the property, so roads and everything else has to be put in.
“So, once all of those approvals come in, then we’ll be able to sell.”
The Access to Affordable Homes Bill, 2018, which seeks to create hundreds of first-time homeowners, was passed last year.
Under the bill, the government intends to provide service-ready land at a reduced cost, which will be affordable for scores of Bahamians now locked out of the home market because of the high cost.
It also offers exemptions for Bahamians seeking to build homes in designated government subdivisions.
Although service-ready lots were being offered for as low as $15,000 in November 2018, at the time, Ferreira noted that only nine had qualified of the dozens who applied, due to financial constraints.
By April, he said 20 lots in two subdivisions had been sold – in the Lionel Davis and Sunset Close subdivisions. As of this month, The Guardian understands that only a few more lots “in scattered areas” have been sold since then.
A ministry official said that it has been receiving applications on an ongoing basis, and that qualified applicants will be contacted once the new subdivision is available.
“They’re calling in every day for updates on when things are going to start,” the official claimed.
“We still have applications coming in, because people want something. It’s an option, you know.
“It’s limited because, you know, land is expensive.”
Lots in the Carmichael Village subdivision would likely be different sizes but are not anticipated to cost more than $30,000, the official added.
When the program was first launched, only those in the uniformed services were eligible to apply. That has now expanded to the public, however, workers in uniformed branches are being given first consideration at this time.