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New minister suggests housing program will stay

Minister of Transport and Housing JoBeth Coleby-Davis said yesterday her ministry will review plans on the table, but noted that it is unlikely that the recently introduced Prospect Ridge development plan for young Bahamians will be canceled.

The development was a promise of former Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, who said it was geared towards young Bahamians who wanted upscale housing at a more attainable price.

While some were critical of the plan, Coleby-Davis said any good ideas will be kept.

“We’re going to review everything that’s on the table,” said the new minister, who was sworn in today.

“What will work will stay. And where it doesn’t work and where it doesn’t fit in the plan there will probably be some maneuvering.

“But we are not in the business of going out there and canceling things right away. We know a lot of young Bahamians are interested in becoming homeowners, and that’s important for them. And so, our focus would be how we can assist Bahamians in general, especially young Bahamians, to get into their homes. 

“And so, I think that idea is a good one. We can start with it and build upon it.”

In April, Parliament approved a resolution to allow for the development of a residential community in western New Providence geared toward young professionals and the transfer of land from the treasurer to the government for the sum of $10.

Under the plan that was presented by the Minnis administration, the community will be comprised of 83 acres of land, located north of John F. Kennedy Drive, between Prospect Ridge and the Ministry of Public Works, and will feature a clubhouse, pool, parks and a preschool.

Forty percent of the lots will be multi-family, available for purchase at $50,000, and 60 percent of the lots will be single-family, sold for $40,000.

Minnis said the lots will be worth $150,000 once the infrastructure is in place.

Purchase of land in the community was limited to first-time homeowners between the ages of 18 and 45 who are Bahamian citizens and currently live in The Bahamas. 

Some 1,500 applications were received for the 300 lots available in the community, according to the Office of the Prime Minister.

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Rachel Scott

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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