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Government explores new housing solutions

GIS – PRIME MINISTER CHASTANET AIMS TO ENSURE A FAIR AND BALANCED APPROACH TO FUTURE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT.

The Government of Saint Lucia has made an allocation of $4 million dollars in the 2018/2019 budget for the provision of just over 400 residential lots for low and middle income earners.

The housing lots will be provided through the National Sites and Services Programme.

According Prime Minister Hon. Allen Chastanet, it is his government’s intention to ensure that there is a fair and balanced approach to future housing development.

“It is clear that the National Housing Corporation can no longer be the sole provider of start-up homes. It is neither efficient nor cost effective for either the government or those seeking this type of housing solution. We will therefore encourage the NHC to partner with the private sector to better satisfy the demand for housing,” he said.

“Let me make it clear from the outset that such partnerships may not be limited to start up homes, but will include lower middle income housing as well,” Mr Chastanet continued. “There is a clear demand in the housing market for this type of dwelling and we do not want to stifle growth in this sector by restraining the ability of the NHC to meet the demand. No one should interpret this to mean that we are abandoning the need of Saint Lucians for affordable housing solutions.”

The Prime Minister described the housing programme as a “win-win situation” that will satisfy the needs of first-time home owners, and those who cannot afford mid-range homes on the open market.

“It is envisaged that government can contribute the land and, if necessary or desirable, provide housing designs,” he said. “Developers will be contracted to build, sell and manage the developments. Let me caution that any such developments will be monitored and managed so as to prevent speculation and abuse. One thing is certain, we can no longer do things in the same old ways and expect different results.”

Meanwhile, $10 million has been allocated to the Housing Construction Programme for this year, to provide units for sale to first-time homeowners and retrofit the houses of vulnerable residents in the Anse La Raye village. It will also relocate vulnerable communities in Odsan and Bexon, and relocate an informal settlement in Anse Ger, Micoud.

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