by Eulana Weekes
St.Kitts and Nevis (WINN): A total of 64 houses have been built in St. Peters since 2015 under the Team Unity Government, information disclosed by Area Representative for Constituency 8 and Minister of Human Settlement, The Hon. Eugene Hamilton.
Hamilton was speaking at the House Allocation Ceremony at the location of the Stapleton Housing Development on Friday, February 4 2022, where 20 families received keys to their homes.
“It is the spirit of unity why families receiving their home today, represent what I describe today as a microcosm of the demographics of our society. The families represent the young, the middle-aged, the not so young; there are families of three, some with four or five, eight too.”
According to Hamilton, while most families are registered with the National Housing Corporation as female-headed homes and female-headed families, more males are in the houses combined than females.
In giving advice to the recipients, the Housing Minister mentioned that an investment in a home is probably the largest, single economic investment that they will ever make in their lifetime. In addition, he warned that as the years go on, the cost and the value of those homes will rise, noting that the new homeowners are quite fortunate, as the cost of building these same houses tomorrow will be much higher.
The Minister said the National Housing Corporation earlier calculated that the homes built in 2020 for EC$165,000 will increase significantly to a cost of about EC$235,000 in 2022.
Hamilton, therefore, urged the recipients to maintain their homes and be responsible by paying for their houses.
“I expect each of you to treat your homes with utmost care and at every turn, attend to its repair and its maintenance. Delays in maintenance could enslave you. Believe me, as costs rise, if you delay in maintenance, the more you’re gonna spend to restore your home.”
“ Further, you should not become delinquent in your payments to NHC, as that is a recipe for enslavement; you’re enslaving yourself. You become a slave to those payments as your payments get more and more in arrears; all when you done die, your children and grandchildren still paying because you became delinquent. Paying for anything in arrears digs deeply into your pockets and are never to be recovered, resulting in you inflicting slavish circumstances upon yourself and your family. If you are taking one of these homes and you find that you are committing yourself to something you cannot pay, don’t take it; wait for the next turn. Let someone continue, who can afford to pay,” said Hamilton.
Minister Hamilton also advised the housing recipients to avoid ‘hire purchase’, which provides additional debts.