Bodden Town low-cost home project finished

| 27/12/2018 | 23 Comments
Cayman News Service

Official opening the first 16 NHDT homes (L-R Back Row) NHDT Director Gary Berry, Mrs Seymour (Minister’s wife), NHDT Director Vincent Frederick, NHDT Director Oscar Bodden, Housing Councillor Eugene Ebanks, (L-R Front Row) Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn, NHDT Director Louise Christine Burke-Richardson, NHDT Chairman George Anthony Powell, Minister Dwayne Seymour, NHDT General Manager Julio Ramos, NHDT Director Wardley Connolly (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(CNS): Sixteen new affordable homes have been officially opened in Bodden Town, the fastest growing district in the Cayman Islands. Government officials marked the launch ceremony of phase 2 of the Affordable Housing Initiative, which is run by the National Housing Development Trust. Ten of the homes have already been purchased, while the other six, which cost between $110,000 and $125,000, are still for sale to first time Caymanian home-owners. This latest group of houses cost around $2.5 million to build and were funded from revenue from previous NHDT house sales.

While the NHDT has had some issues in the past with financing, the aim has always been to sell the low-cost houses to fund the construction of more. This particular phase is located on a 10-acre site off Lake Destiny Drive, where there are already 20 affordable homes that were constructed in 2012.

Officials said that East End is the next district set to benefit from phase 2 of the Affordable Housing Initiative, with plans for West Bay after that.

Together with NHDT Board Chairman George Anthony Powell, Dwayne Seymour, the minister for housing, cut the ribbon on the latest homes and said government has long been committed to making low-cost home ownership available to local families so they can own the roof over their heads.

Cayman News Service

Housing Councillor Eugene Ebanks, NHDT Chairman George Anthony Powell, Minister Dwayne Seymour inside one of the 16 affordable homes built in Bodden Town (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

“We are striving to create opportunities that will empower Caymanians to ensure that they can enjoy a standard of living that is both high and at the same time affordable,” he said.

Powell said that during an open house session in the summer officials were able to speak with potential buyers, which helped shape a more successful process. “We used the opportunity to provide more information about the process, from pre-application to post-ownership. From the feedback that they shared I believe we are on the right path. We remain committed to engaging homeowners and the community alike to ensure that we deliver homes that meet the public’s needs,” he added.

Single Caymanians interesting in buying an affordable government home must earn no more than $36,000 per year to apply, or in the case of joint applicants the couple must earn no more than $50,400 a year. Once applicants have been pre-approved under the Affordable Housing Initiative criteria and financially assessed by the NHDT, they will be referred to local banks for financing.

For more information call the NHDT at 945-7649 or visit the NHDT website.

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Category: Local News

Comments (23)

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  1. MM says:

    Despite how happy I am about Caymanians who are earning a low income being provided the opportunity to own a home; I am concerned about value for money after paying a mortgage for 20 to 30 years.

    If a buyer of these homes pays their mortgage off in 25 years at a 4.75% interest rate they would have paid back up to $210,000 in total for a home that will NEVER increase in value to that level (in fact there is a high chance that it will decrease) – and the lots appear far too small to consider extensions or adding a studio rental unit for extra income, value and individual net worth.

    Our people are not being given the opportunity to learn about increasing net worth, making viable investments and seeking out real estate that will appreciate not depreciate.

    With that said, it is still better to own than to rent and I can imagine the feeling of freedom and accomplishment each new homeowner experiences. My best advice to the owners is to form a strata-type committee and have all owners sign an legal agreement to maintain their yards and properties, keep the area free of derelict vehicles, discourage certain “activities” and have the agreement lodged with Lands and Survey against each property.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The trade off is that you get the land for free! I own one of the 3 bedroom homes and my loan balance is less than 100k. My mortgage payments is less than what one would pay for a one bedroom apt. So even if the property devalues, the savings and the quality of life from owning one of the homes far out weighs your argument. By the time the home is paid off, hopefully in 10 years, and if I remain smart, I’ll have enough money to buy another house via regular banking process. But then why would I do that?! I bet I’ll travel the world instead and enjoy my hard earn money instead of having to pay off unnecessary debt.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If you rented you would pay that much and still have no house!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I live in one of the homes. I must say it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The quality of the homes are the same as the Frank Hall Homes but the cost is much cheaper. People, even some Caymanian, look down at the homes as not being good enough because they are through NHDT (low income) but, I smile every month as single parent when I can afford to pay every single one of my bills plus have enough left over to save as I made the right decision to chose an affordable house rather than paying double the amount in rent just to “fit in” with society. Cheers to the Govt. & NHDT as this is one Caymanian who has made the best of your offer and who truly appreciate it!.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Just checked the CIREBA listings and there is not a single 2 bedroom house for sale on Grand Cayman for less than $160,000. It is obvious that these houses fill a need.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    My biggest concern is that we are constantly building these low income housing projects and that says a lot about where we as a country are going.. We are putting our people on these reservations that they will never get out of if they are not educated, trained and given opportunities to get themselves off these reservations..

    This is nothing more than trying to make our people feel like we are doing some good for them when in fact we are relegating to poverty and low income housing forever. These politicians are not doing our people any favors and at best all this does is secure votes to keep them in office making the big bucks while Caymanians citizens are ostracised and force to live in these communes.

    Give a man a fish and he will eat for day..teach him how to fish and he can feed himself forever..

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    • Anonymous says:

      People out here suffering to make ends meet and are so grateful for this opportunity. Just don’t want to see poor people get nowhere. Keep your badmind thoughts to yourself. Big up to the government for helping our people and giving them a stepping stone and hope for a future!

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      • Anonymous says:

        I am not saying that there are not some people that really need these homes. What I am saying is that there are too many of our people living at the poverty level because of lack of education, training and good jobs for them. We need a middle class again not a Caymanian class and a rich expat class. People have to strive to do better but if not given the tools or opportunities they will never grow. It’s about finding a better way and I know there are some where they are happy at this level in life but I know a lot that have just settled because they have nothing else to fall back on.

        If we continue to use these communes to tell our people that can’t do any better, we will never get any better as a country. We are losing generation after generation and our middle class has dwindled to where it is almost extinct.

        If I had my way I would make two years at UCCI mandatory after High School, either in learning a trade or working on an associates degree at the bare minimum and these classes should be for free..For those adults that want to up skill themselves open the schools up at night to teach trades or night school for them to get an associates or Bachelor degree. Give our people to be proud and sufficient members of society and not banished to these communes for life.

        There is more to be done than just providing low income housing and adding to the NAU budget every year..How much more of that can we support?

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      • Anonymous says:

        And why do you think you are struggling amidst the most development this country has ever seen ? The same government is not making sure you benefit, take your little low income house and be grateful, that’s their motto

    • Anonymous says:

      Read the comment above yours. These are nice little subdivisions and an opportunity for people to get a good start.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So what are YOUR suggestions. Specific details please.

  4. Anonymous says:

    without strong strata management this development will be a ghetto in 2 years.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    That’s for Caymanians -low income housing because we are all being pushed into the low income bracket while the Govt makes the foreigners rich

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Well done NHDT.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Very good news. The interior shot looks acceptable, and the price is right for those who qualify. I don’t care if there isn’t much of a profit margin, as long as those who have been and will be given the opportunity to purchase the houses are Caymanians.

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  8. land crab says:

    It seems the homes are subsidised as they cost $156250 to build plus the cost of the land whatever that was. As for funding construction from previous sales I thoght a significant number of previous owners were in arrears on their payments

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