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NHDT Home Handover

The new National Housing Development Trust (NHDT) home for Rupert Cole and his wife.

Thanks to the National Housing Development Trust (NHDT) Build-on-Your-Own-Property programme, Rupert Cole and his wife are now proud homeowners.A two-bedroom, two-bathroom home in East End was handed over to the family last Thursday (8 April).

Minister of Community Affairs and Housing the Hon. Mike Adam, MBE, JP and Ministry Housing Councillor Ellio Solomon, JP cut the ribbon while NHDT Chairman Steve McLaughlin presented Mr. Cole with the keys.

Ministry Chief Officer Dorine Whittaker and NHDT Board Members Rayal Bodden and Michael Godfrey were also on hand for the opening.Congratulating both the homeowners and the NHDT management and board, Minister Adam said that he was pleased to be part of this very special occasion. He commended the Trust for its efficiency in bringing the home to reality just eight months after the Coles first applied.

"This is superior service by any standard. The Trust's hard work has allowed one more family to own a home in record time," Mr. Adam said.NHDT provides assistance with home ownership through a number of programmes including Build-on-Your-Own-Property and the Affordable Housing Project.

Explaining the difference, Mr. McLaughlin said: "Under the Affordable Housing Project, the NHDT acquires land and constructs homes for sale to qualified families. Under the Build-on-Your-Own-Property programme, landowners can receive NHDT assistance through commercial banks guarantees to finance construction on land owned by the applicant.

Expressing their joy with the house, Mr. Cole said: "My wife and I dreamed of having our own home; the Bible says blessed is the child that has his own. We are really happy." He added "You come home and you can relax, go outside and do what you want to do; it's your own place. It's a good feeling."

Mr. Solomon also congratulated the homeowners on acquiring the property and following through to build a home. He said that Government was intent on making a significant dent in outstanding applications for homes and he gave an update on other ongoing NHDT programmes, emphasising that pre-construction work on the Affordable Housing Project's East End development, begun just one month ago, was progressing well.

"Utilities and sidewalks are being put in place, prior to actual construction of the units which will start in a few months," Mr. Solomon explained. He confirmed that homes are also slated for construction in Bodden Town, West, Bay and George Town later this year. Noting that last December, the ministry had invited qualified small-contractors to complete a pre-qualification exercise to provide construction services, Mr. Solomon also promised that government's allocation of building contracts will be fair.

He disclosed that to date, 14 contractors have pre-qualified. They can tender for work on housing projects in East End and elsewhere on-island as bidding opens, he said, adding that the pre-qualification process is still in progress.

For further information contact: Prudence Barnes