Hundreds of Barbadians will get a roof over their heads under a new $96 million Low Income Housing Project due to start “very shortly”.
Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley made the announcement today, saying a combination of terrace blocks, “infill” units, and individual houses would be constructed in urban and rural parts of the country.
The St. Philip North MP was leading debate on a $41.7 million supplementary resolution for his ministry, $2 million of which related to the low income project.
The overall project is to be undertaken with funding from a $72 million Caribbean Development Bank loan and $24 million from Government, and will include the construction of housing at Whitepark Road, Wildey, Deacons, and Country Road in St. Michael, Oxnards and Haynesville in St. James, and Parish Land in Christ Church.
Additionally, the minister said 77 houses to be constructed at River, St. Philip and another 47 planned for Applewhaites, St. George “will be placed under the CDB project”.
“I can also say with confidence that construction under this project should start in the coming financial year. Very shortly we should start the construction of the infill and the infill in Wildey is necessary — the infill in the urban corridor is necessary because of the limited land space,” he told the Lower House.
“And so once we have land …, and once we have the Town Planning approval, we satisfy the conditions precedence to the loan then we will have the first disbursements and we can proceed with construction.
“We are not limiting this project, as some people would believe, to one parish. We are basically trying to confront the challenge of the provision of affordable housing to Barbadians and we are confronting it frontally and we are looking at spreading these houses around the country, although there is a view that we should construct infill terrace units in the urban corridor,” he added.
Lashley also said the availability of land was unlikely to be a problem.
“I believe that there is enough land space throughout Barbados, particularly too in the rural area, that we could also construct these infill houses too,” he stated.
“So it is not just talk, it is not just promises, it is not just conceptualisation, it is not just placing it in a study or placing it in a report, it is about action and indeed we will certainly try and in the fullness of time this $72 million will be felt throughout the entire country.”
Lashley said the Ministry of the Civil Service had already approved the posts of project coordinator, project manager, and senior accountant for the Low Income Housing Project. (SC)