Housing Trust starts work on 19 West Bay homes

| 02/12/2022 | 26 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): Phase 3 of the Lighthouse Gardens affordable housing development in the Boatswain Bay area of West Bay is getting underway after an official groundbreaking of the project this week. The subdivision includes nineteen housing lots and completes the 9.5-acre property, delivering a total of 55 homes at the location. National Housing Development Trust (NHDT) General Manager Julio Ramos said the goal was to keep construction costs low while making the homes modern and energy efficient with amenities that increase their value.

“The NHDT continues to offer these houses at a low cost, with reported market values equivalent to those provided in the open market,” he said. But Ramos did not divulge the price of the homes or the cost to build the houses, given the current rate of inflation and supply chain issues. Some 18 months ago, then-chairman George Powell said it was challenging to keep the homes affordable. In 2020 it cost around $100,000 to build each home.

CNS has submitted a number of questions about the current costs, and we are awaiting a response.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Infrastructure Minister Jay Ebanks said the NHDT and the government were committed to delivering high-quality and sustainable housing for Caymanians to realise their dream of home ownership.

He said the board continues to concentrate its efforts building on vacant land at the housing sites in North Side, East End and West Bay. It is also working on acquiring land in George Town for new projects in the capital as well. “There is a great demand for affordable housing across our Island, and it is the intention of this government to develop new housing solutions during our time in office,” he said.

Finance Minister Chris Saunders said the cost of housing is one of the largest contributors to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and adequate housing and accommodation for Caymanians was important for the growing population.

“While global population growth is averaging less than 1% per year, in the Cayman Islands we have seen 10.5% growth in an eight-month period,” he said. “The rate of home construction has not kept pace with population growth. It is therefore imperative that we have a national conversation on housing, land preservation and building heights, both in the residential and commercial sectors.”

Saunders also commended the board, though he said nothing of the latest corruption scandal to impact this public authority. Last week Geoffry Ebanks, who was appointed as NHDT chair by Cabinet to replace Powery, appeared in court facing allegations that he misappropriated 72 truckloads of fill and soil from the North Side project. He was only removed from his post in October, months after the scandal came to light in March.

Work is still progressing at that 12-acre site, where the NHDT broke ground for 45 housing lots over one year ago.


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Category: development, Local News

Comments (26)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why West Bay?

    Can’t the Govt. aquire any land for a more reasonable price in the Eastern districts?

    My property value is somewhat already reduced due to close proximity of existing Govt housing in Apple Blossoms.

    Sounds selfish, but anyways…

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t we build them in Jamaica? It would probably cost a lot less.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Good idea.. they could still vote for Mac and Saunders by postal ballot and party with Kenneth and Jay when they visit Jamaica.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This development should be at least 30 story.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    another slum in the making…

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  5. Anonymous says:

    what a waste of land. low rise detached bungalows makes zero sense.
    any recipient should be means tested.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Why are these not multi-story units? even 3 floors could allow so many more to be built on the site seeing as there is such need. Some space could be allocated for a corner store and maybe child-care. We should be creating communities and not ‘poor streets’.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Send me a couple truckloads of soil, and remember anyone wishing to get their name on the list will have to get their insurance policy from me.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    NDHC is a more appropriate acronym with the “C” being Cartel. Trust, not so much.

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  9. K.not 2 Shabby says:

    Sustainable homes my @#$#%^#…if you didn’t chop all d’bush down at least these low income earners could of benefitted from shade and slightly more sustainable CUC bills. Joke…not woke. sustain your next reelection you should be referring to!

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s the established Cayman way. Lay waste to everything then bring in pest ridden flora from States Side.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Making a wild guess the cost are way over 220k and betting none involved is offering discounts, pure profiteering, makes you wonder if it would be more sensible to just contract out these major low income developments to one of the Big contractor’s and make them use their buying power with the hope it would bring down the cost.

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    • Anonymous says:

      ehh wrong- around 150K

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      • Anonymous says:

        The average cost in cayman now is roughly $200 per sq foot your estimate is Based on prices from a few years ago, and not based on individuals that see government low-income projects as cash cows, not as a way to give back to their community by offering discounted building prices.
        Doubt they can build for $150k each and break even.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What fresh corruption is this?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    LMAO a load of Jamaicans signing off on too little, too late for their own clan.

    No Caymanians will get those houses. Only status granted imports.

    Chris Saunders needs the chop, and as soon as possible. He is the fox in the henhouse. Caymanians and regular expats alike, white, black and anything else. He is going to replace us with Jamaicans to benefit himself.

    Look at the picture! They are laughing! WHAT ARE THEY LAUGHIGN AT?? AT US, AT THE CAYMANIANS AND EXPATS THAT WANT GOOD THINGS FOR THIS ISLAND.

    They are laughing at the fact they can spend the money and never have to live in these homes. They are laughing at the ridiculousness of them shovelling dirt because they know it’s just a pantomime and they are just the audience laughing at us all because they don’t have a single cell capable of appreciating the enormity of their position. They think they are just some bog-standard managers of a crap accountancy firm, not Politicians responsible for people’s lives.

    Get them all out. We deserve better.

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    • Neverwannabeacivilservant says:

      Even if Caymanians don’t get the houses they will sure get the fill.

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      • Proudcivilservant says:

        4:54 you need help. I suggest you join the civil service where you can get the help you need.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They are reserving a portion for Caymanians with jobs and new credit. The houses may cost them
      $100k to build.

      The potential cost to purchase the property could be even be more affordable when each house is finished.

      For every home during the 1-2 or 2-3 years time it takes to complete. The government can earn their money back before selling the homes. In a perfect world, less than the build cost.

      Some 50 – 60 lots of property reserved for first-time home owners is indeed generous.
      You should see the positive
      in Saunders teams’ effort.

      Some of you people bend and blend your comments to ruin it for us who are tired of the iniquity.

      Look, who gets one of those lots
      will be a diligent working Caymanian; Furthermore, resident’s that love their country and respect those that are working to build.

      If you had 2 employees that were expats and 3 that were Caymanian, they all agree to what wages is offered right?.
      Expats are also building their homes outside Cayman.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Any fill left over for my dad?

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  14. Anon says:

    National Housing owns the huge vacant site behind the basketball court on Eastern Avenue. Empty for years. Build affordable housing on it now! No to political vanity projects!

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  15. Anonymous says:

    SO who gets the opportunity to buy these homes?
    Will there be stipulations to prevent flipping and/or using them as rentals?????

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    • Anonymous says:

      A literal convicted abuser declaring social housing. Nobody should bother applying, their Jamaican clan members have already taken them.

      Give it a few years before each place is sublet into oblivion with 20 people from all sorts of places living in them, running all sorts of businesses from the front yard.

      Also, what sort of sad, pathetic speech can you give declaring a few bloody social housing units? they think they are saving the world. What a bunch of clowns.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    I hope the fill is well secured.

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