Government distributes 16 new homes to families in Half Way Tree, St. Kitts
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The government of National Unity, in continuation of its mandate to provide homes for citizens, distributed another 16 homes to 16 individuals and their families June 12.
The new home owners at Green Acres, Half Way Tree, in Constituency No. 4, are the first of 45 families who are expected to receive homes under the Unity Housing Solution Programme. Minister of Human Settlement the Honourable Eugene Hamilton noted that this delivery of houses now brings the number to 43 in Constituency No. 4.
Minister Hamilton said that there were a large number of people who applied to receive a home. “We recognize that there are many applications at the National Housing Corporation (NHC),” he said. “In this area, we have had [more than] 400 [who] applied for homes. So, we have to step up and provide the solutions for those of you who believe that NHC is the institution that can assist you.”
The minister said that the homes are quite impressive, noting that they are not only bigger, but more durable. “When I look at these houses, they are fit for a king,” he said. “The first thing you should know about them is that they are bigger than ever before – 862 square feet. They used to be 600, and around 788 was the highest. A bedroom could hold two beds – 12 by 12. When it is furnished, it looks like a king’s room.” Hamilton added that the bathrooms are also bigger, going from 40 square feet to 56. The living and dining rooms are also bigger.
One of the most significant changes that NHC has embraced is the roof, said the minister.
“The roof is made of galvalume,” he said. “I describe it as a hard roof, which means that in a hurricane, it is less likely to get damaged because of the quality of the roofing materials that you now have.”
The minister mentioned that the verandas, railings and roofs were all made locally. “The Team Unity government is not only building a home, but it is engaging the private sector as well in the construction of these homes, engaging the private sector to develop more private sector businesses—the galvalume business, the railing business,” he said. “Those are two that we are supporting.”
During the next 15 months, the government will complete the build out of the rest of the homes to get to the 300 mark. “We are practicable,” Hamilton said. “We will make every effort to ensure that we put the roads in so that you can save on dust in your homes when you live there.”
The National Housing Corporation (NHC), in collaboration with the government of National Unity, launched the Team Unity Housing Solution Programme in February 2017. In doing so, the government made a promise to deliver 300 houses within two to two-and-a half years to the tune of $50 million, which was borrowed from the St. Kitts and Nevis Social Security Board.