Entornointeligente.com / Search form Search Main menu Home News Business Sports Columns Contact Us E-Paper Project aims to stimulate economic activity Fri, 04/23/2021 – 6:15am By: Cara L. Jean-Baptiste IN an attempt to stimulate economic activity in Barbados, the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Maintenance decided to switch their Lands for Sale project to a Houses for Sale project.
This was stated by Minister of Housing, Lands and Maintenance, Dr. William Duguid, in a recent press release.
“The project was conceived as one involving sale of land and that was always the intention. However, as Minister, I have to recognise the interests and well-being of both individual citizens
as well as the country as a whole. You would, no doubt, be aware that since the land fair, many Barbadians lost their jobs and unemployment spiked, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We, therefore, as a matter of policy, had to urgently stimulate economic activity, especially via housing construction, to put people back to work quickly,” he said.
“We were aware that the Lancaster project was already shovel-ready, short of completing the infrastructure and hiring contractors. In addition, we knew from our databases that there was a greater demand for housing than for land. In fact, while we received 280 applications following the Lancaster land fair, we received more than 5,000 applications in the 48 hours after the HOPE housing project was launched.”
The Minister highlighted that even though many persons applied at the land fair, they did not qualify after further investigations by the financial institutions and as such, they had to re-advertise.
He explained that the inability to qualify based on normal lending criteria was one reason they sought to structure a housing project like this, where the buyer did not have to worry about finding an upfront deposit or a very high monthly repayment.
The Minister apologised for falling short in not communicating the change of policy to citizens and financial institutions, and acknowledged that even though it was clear that their economic and social circumstances were deteriorating swiftly, they should not have assumed everyone would have immediately understood the reasons for the policy change.
“I apologise for that error. Since both NHC and HOPE Inc. are part of one Ministry, we will endeavour to ensure that persons who submitted applications at the land fair to NHC and are now interested in purchasing a home from HOPE can be accommodated,” he said.
LINK ORIGINAL: Barbados Advocate