AN effort to tackle the shortage of affordable housing in the country was given legitimacy when Housing Minister Stanley Felix and Charles Broomfield, founder of the LIVITY Group out of the British Virgin Islands, signed an agreement Thursday at Cap Maison, in Cap Estate that could see hundreds of Saint Lucians owning their own homes in the near future.
“This is a landmark signing that did not come easily. We’re hoping to bring hundreds of new affordable homes to the entire country. We are hoping to start work on the ground within the next two to three months,” Felix told reporters adding that his Ministry, through the National Housing Corporation had looked at sites all over the island for construction of the affordable homes in mind, with several of them already earmarked for development and regeneration.
“We looked at sites in the north for example Talvern, off the Millenium Highway, Forestierre, Vieux Fort, we are even looking at entering into the development of an athlete village,” Felix said, noting that the homes to be built will remain affordable for low to middle income earners. He quoted a price tag of EC$150,000 – EC$250,000.
“The houses have to remain affordable within the reach of the average person. The project targets the entire spectrum of low to middle income persons. The houses will be one to three bedroom homes”, Felix said, further stating that at all times the affordability of the final product will be kept in sharp focus to allow some people, some of whom for the first time, the prospect of owning a home of their own.
It is envisioned that the houses will be provided on a turnkey basis, fully fitted and finished to a high standard.
The Minister added that this joint venture came during a period of detailed evaluation and that it will support government’s strategy for new homes and will boost the economy.
“The agreement is effective immediately. This announcement is the culmination of careful due diligence between the parties. Its implementation will begin to address the acute shortage of affordable homes in Saint Lucia,” Felix said.
“The closing of this agreement with LIVITY represents the company’s long term commitment to Saint Lucia and signals the regeneration of our house building sector, job security and renewed buoyancy across the supply chain,” Felix said.
The LIVITY Group is a company that specializes in the development of affordable homes and is supported by a global investment consortium with assets in excess of US1bn. This group is partnered by one of China’s largest privately owned integrated construction companies called ZhongJianLian He (ZJLH) Ltd