$1M set aside to start low-cost homes on the Bluff

| 20/03/2024 | 32 Comments
Premier Julianna O’Connor-Connolly with SIAHDC board members and staff from MDAL, District Administration and PWD in front of the billboard marking The Woodlands

(CNS): Four years since the Sister Islands Affordable Housing Development Corporation last built an affordable home on Cayman Brac, it will soon begin building two new housing developments on Bluff land purchased by the Cayman Islands Government. Over CI$1 million has been allocated over the next two years to build the developments, named The Highlands and The Woodlands, and construction is expected to start shortly. There are expected to be nine 2- and 3-bedroom family homes.

In December, Wilbur Welcome, the acting chief officer for the Ministry of District Administration and Lands, which is responsible for the corporation, appeared at a Finance Committee hearing. He said the ministry was going through the planning process and hoped to request quotes and proposals for construction in early 2024 to begin nine new homes in the first instance.

Last May, the ministry adopted a new policy on affordable homes in the Sister Islands due to the rapidly rising housing costs and the shortage of affordable property for local people.

As the government announced the start of work on the new sites this week, Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, who is also minister for District Administration, said the new homes were part of a commitment to provide affordable housing options.

“The rising cost of real estate over the past two years has widened the gap between Caymanians and their ability to acquire affordable land and homes,” she said. “In response to this challenge, the Cayman Islands Government remains steadfast in its commitment to providing opportunities for Caymanians to attain adequate and affordable housing.”

However, the CIG has not been quite so steadfast in the past. The last homes were handed over in 2019, even though money was allocated to the SIAHDC to build them in previous budgets. In her last report looking at the government’s accounts, Auditor General Sue Winspear suggested that the two government-owned companies that build affordable homes, SIAHDC on the Sister Islands and the National Housing and Development Trust on Grand Cayman, should merge.

“I have recommended that the Government consider the need for SIAHDC to continue as a separate entity, given that NHDT provides the same functions for Grand Cayman,” she said, also noting “the lack of value provided to the public”.

At the Public Accounts Committee meeting last week, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson was asked about this issue. He said it was a political decision but he could encourage the discussion of the recommendations.

Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson could not say what had happened to any of the cash previously allocated to the SIAHDC for houses it did not build. He explained that before getting any of the funds, the SIAHDC had to ask the ministry for it. But if money was handed over and not used, “that is a serious problem as that would be clearly wrong”, he said.

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Category: development, Local News, Policy, Politics

Comments (32)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Grand Cayman Politicians better step up this year. No more turleys and Hams or appliances for that matter…Julie giving out the whole house on Cayman Brac…Unna Grand Cayman politicians ga step up unna game if unna want get better than JuJu…

  2. Anonymous says:

    I wonder who got a a few million for their land from Government this time?

    Wasn’t it XXXX that got $2.5M for the property to build the school on, purchased just months before Juju made her $50M new school announcement.

    We better start paying attention as to what is going on over on the Brac now. All of this goes under the radar because they operate over here in secret..You never know until everything is done and then you just have to follow the money..

  3. Anonymous says:

    Juju ensuring she getting a little vote buying in using the people’s money ahead of time.

    I see now why she had to have Wayne gone. There is no way she would have been allowed to be on this spending spree under his watch. It has always been about her and all the expensive trappings of political office that she has maintained and can’t let go for so many years. The cars, the drivers, the personal attendants, the first class travel all over the world, the dresses in each color for whichever party she switches to at election time to ensure her cabinet seat.

    It time to put all of these recycled politicians like her McKeeva, Alden, John John, Roy, Joey, David, Barbara and Moses out to pasture..They are the old guard hanging on for what they can get and not for us..

    Come on people and especially those of us on Cayman Brac, we can do better.

  4. KYVoter says:

    This election is going to be fun, we’re all going to get free money and free things :). So happy that we don’t have to repay all of this free money right? We can just take a loan and put our future generations in debt :).

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why not just use the existing high school structures?

  6. Anon says:

    So they can spend $50m on a school for 100 kids, but only set aside $1m for housing, that is a complete joke

  7. Anonymous says:

    Building on good agricultural land…hmmm not to mention just a bunch of status giveaways got the last ones.

    • Anonymous says:

      hush man, we need good topsoil to scrape off…Its standard operation, the topsoil gets scraped off and then someone gets a contract to fill the land with rocks ensuring that the whole .o7 lot will be mostly barren so the occupants will pay 22% – 27% of their low incomes back into the coffers -for life. consequently, instead of being built in prime locations they are often built in areas with existing and significant social economic challenges creating that ghetto ‘gardens’ feel and a few short years later the architecture on the site works and paint scheme of the housing reflects the source country of its.primary inhabitants, e.g. a northern African flair where the dust from limestone crush rock dulls the bright and multicoloured walls, doors and sidings and contrasts with the lush greens of the surrounding communities historical fruit trees drawing distain from the imported occupants who have become ensared in the Cayman rat race and long for the space, greenery and spice of lovely JAMAICAAAAA. and the other way around, distain for the from the current occupants of the surrounding communities where the presence (of high density low income housing) has significantly dented prospect of a future where serenity and traquility is acheivable ( convert their simple existence also to terror) and the lack of open ‘grass piece’ is now sprawling concrete shithold with one way in and one way out due to drive for location selection as the piece of land that has good top soil to sell off as a ‘hidden benefit.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Final cost- $8.7 million. Heard it here first.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Juju gearing up for the next election. Maybe she can mention to kenny that there’s no CAL jet flight to Cayman Brac the Thursday before Easter and no seats.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Kindly do not build low cost housing near the new High school. Move these to another location. They WILL NOT work together in future

    • Anonymous says:

      JuJu yard across the street, not likely they are being built in that general vicinity

    • Anonymous says:

      Low-cost only means that they buyer gets it at a very low cost, and that’s only if they are required to pay anything at all.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Despite laudable intentions I fear that this is just moving Caymanians onto ‘reservations’ rather than addressing the underlying problems of run away development and rising crime on Grand Cayman that is having a knock-on effect on the Brac.

  12. Anonymous says:

    So which person/s benefited from the government buying their specific land on the bluff? Which civil servant / politicians family or associates will benefit from being guided nicely to the front of the line for these new affordable houses?

    And as usual. Election season soon come so vote buying season already here.

  13. Anonymous says:

    low rise detached bungalows????…repeating the same mistakes as they did on grand cayman…..the definition of insanity
    brac ghettos in the making.

  14. Dis. Graced says:

    so how many will that build…..wat a joka this place. only thing is building more votes for next election.

  15. Anonymous says:

    A million here and there and everywhere!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Juju vote buying start up again. Election must be coming up soon Zzzzzzz.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Well that will keep most of the Brac employed for the next couple of years. “Lack of value” “a political decision” etc – tells you all you need to know.

  18. Frustrated Caymanian says:

    should probably finish the ones in Grand Cayman 1st.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Mine! Mine! Mine!

  20. Anonymous says:

    What quality of structure will you get for $111,111 per home? 1/2 of that will have to be for electrical, plumbing and appliances leaving $55,000 for the structure? Not Safe!

    • Anonymous says:

      The other $55,000 will be for heavy equipment costs, before you can think of buying blocks, lumber, carpets/tiles, etc

    • Anonymous says:

      Assuming they even build them – seems that last time around they just spent the finds allocated on something else.


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