With a reinvigorated board and a new board chairperson, the Sister Islands Affordable Housing Development Corporation (SIAHDC) has heightened standards aimed at delivering more homes - and with enhanced cost-effectiveness.
Certified planner Christine Maltman's appointment as board chairperson late last year has resulted in the corporation working to strengthen its partnership with government. Efforts to streamline delivery of a new phase of affordable housing to Sister Islands' families are also ongoing.
At present, SIAHDC is reviewing all systems and processes as well as updating financial records. The board has already reviewed plans and will shortly seek planning permission for a mixture of two- and three-bedroom houses on either of its two sites - Watering Place and West End.
"Where and how many homes we build this time around will largely depend on applicants' needs. Regardless, we are really excited at the prospect of adding a third phase to the affordable housing stock. Home ownership remains an important benchmark for most families; moreover, it creates robust and stable communities," Ms. Maltman explained.
"Once planning permission is secured, we will put the project out to tender in the hope that we can start construction this summer," she added.
The new development follows the projects completed in December 2008 and April 2010, when a total of eight homes were built.
Expressing satisfaction with the new board's progress, District Administration, Works, Lands and Agriculture (DAWLA) Minister, the Hon. Juliana O'Connor-Connolly JP said everything done to date supports her ministry's objective of promoting individual home ownership at the best-possible cost.
"Our ultimate goal is to accelerate the pace of providing applicants with affordable homes. I congratulate Ms. Maltman and her board for making great strides in a short time," she said.
Stressing the need for the board to achieve high levels of operational efficiency and effectiveness, the Minister added, "In the context of current global economic conditions, I am pleased to see that they are running a tight ship, marked by prudent financial management and rational staffing."
Sidebar: The Sister Islands Affordable Housing Development Corporation
- SIAHDC was officially launched in January 2006 as a government-funded, non-profit entity. Its aim is to promote home ownership on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman by providing affordable options. SIAHDC currently owns two properties in Cayman Brac: The Watering Place site which can accommodate 15 homes and the West End property, with room for 20-30 homes, of which eight are already built. Each offers quality concrete construction on single-family freehold house lots. Successful applicants accordingly own their own homes and land outright.
- SIAHDC conducted a public-tender process among contractors in the hope that local contractors would bid as near to those costs as possible, in order to guarantee value for dollar. Local contractors won the bids to construct phases 1 and 2 at costs of $365,500 and $413,031 respectively.
- Public Works and Ministry of DAW&GA personnel were members of the project management team and helped to ensure quality construction standards were met by conducting onsite inspections whilst the homes were being built. The board expects that partnership to continue as it embarks on phase 3. At the moment, SIAHDC does not have any paid staff but the offices of District Administration have permitted Ms. Wanda Tatum to assist with office administration. As part of its review of processes, finances and plans for phase 3, the board will examine its future human capital needs.
- Existing homes are between 855 sq ft for a 2-bedroom and 1073 sq ft for a 3-bedroom house.
Ms. Christine Maltman (chairperson); Ms. Martha Whittingham-Scott; Mr. Larry Bryan; Mr. Temple Tatum; Mr. James Peters; Mrs. Zanda Scott; Mrs. Marlyn Scott; Mrs. Thelma Galbraith; Ministry Chief Officer or designate (ex-officio) and Ministry Chief Financial Officer or designate (ex-officio).
SIAHDC's office is located in the Avistar Building III, Unit #8, West End, Cayman Brac (Garston Grant's westernmost/newest building and future home of the UCCI Brac Campus). Contact: P.O. Box 141, Cayman Brac KY2-2101; call 948-8177 or 928-0234, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information contact: Cornelia Oliver