by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Ministers of Cabinet, representatives of the National Housing Corporation and the East Coast Housing Development Limited gathered together on Monday, September 18 for the groundbreaking ceremony for the model structures; the start to the smart housing revolution in the Federation.
Minister of Housing, Dr Geoffrey Hanley lauded the work of the team at the National Housing Corporation and Attorney General Garth Wilkin for working tirelessly to ensure that the housing initiative gets underway.
“Many thought that this day would not arrive, but everything works in God’s timing. It took a while, but I am pleased that all of the due diligence was done. Amidst all that social media might have been spreading, God has made it possible. On this day the 18th day of September, the housing revolution that we promised is here and will be in St.Kitts for a very long time. I am honoured to be serving as the Minister with responsibility for Housing; something that I am very passionate about and we did our work. The Chairman of the Board, I must commend him and the entire team. They worked morning, night, noon, right around the clock. I recognise my colleague brother is here, the Attorney General. He assured that everything was down to the last dot on the contract that we have signed, so that the housing revolution that we promised, will reach the people that are in need of these homes.”
Also at the groundbreaking ceremony, held in Taylors, Dr. Hanley explained that a single mother, Belinda Buchanan will be the first beneficiary of the Smart Homes.
“You might be asking, “Why Belinda?” The Buchanans happened to be one of the first families to settle in this area in Taylors. I believe comfortably, I can say, when you check the voter’s list for Polling Division 2, you have almost 50 Buchanans listed. So this home is not only a blessing to Belinda and her immediate family but by extension the entire Buchanans and Stapletons and all of those in the area.”
Why I gravitated a lot to her, knowing them personally, and when I recognised a single mother, doing a job in a primary school, serving meals, and was able to pay off for her land since 2008, she deserves this home. I think it is quite fitting for me to indicate to them that after this house is being built. Belinda would not have to move a thing from her present home. This home is going to be outfitted with three beds, living room set, dining room table and of course AC units in all three bedrooms and the front. It’s coming also with solar panels and water storage.”
The smart homes will be constructed by East Coast Housing Development Limited, a company from Trinidad and Tobago. Mr Brian Singh, CEO of the company, expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Terrance Drew and Dr. Hanley for their vision in ensuring that more people of the Federation become homeowners.
“On behalf of East Coast Housing Development Corporation, we have partnered together with the Government, led by the Honourable Prime Minister to make this happen. We are not just building houses for you all. What we have created and I want to use Dr. Hanley’s words,” We are creating homes- homes for the people of the Federation. People, y’all may have never seen something like this before, but we are saying, we are building these to withstand the test of time. We are giving you something here that you have not realised before.”
“I want to make sure that every individual who applied for a home under this Smart House initiative, this housing revolution, that they realise their dream.”
East Coast Housing Development Limited, will build 2,400 homes over the next four years and partner with China-based Creteform Limited to build the smart homes. The housing development is expected to cost about US$ 227 million dollars.