The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) has set the prices for the model houses displayed at the recently held Housing Solutions and Beyond exhibition at $6.5 million per unit, Minister in the Ministry of Communities, Valerie Patterson revealed yesterday.
Patterson, who holds responsibility for the CH&PA, emphasized that the cost was way below what was spent by the entity to construct the houses, noting that the cost of constructing the units was subsidized by the government, which took on the infrastructural costs.
The minister stated that the duplexes will be sold for $6.5 million per apartment, with the corresponding land being sold for $300,000, the latter being a $200,000 reduction from the original price. This is regardless of whether the duplex is elevated or flat, or built using wooden or concrete materials.
For the single elevated houses she said, the unit is being sold for $6.5 million, while the land will be sold at a cost of $500,000.
“And the reason why I have not reduced the cost for the land is because it’s an entire house lot…and that’s a deal, it can’t be better than that because those houses are really big and the persons now have the option of enclosing the downstairs if they so desire,” Patterson stated.
In terms of financing, the minister stated that the same system used for turnkey homes would be applied.
“…we’ve already begun to engage the mortgage institutions and they are coming on board with us. I can say Republic Bank is already on board. The thing is now that we have settled on the price, we’re now going to do a pre-qualification based on those persons who registered and we’re going to issue them letters, which they will take to the bank and whoever the bank qualifies will get the home”.
During the expo, concerns had been expressed that the prices quoted for the model houses were too high. These prices were above the $6.5m announced by Patterson yesterday.
According to Patterson, the government has the ability to meet the expectations and demands of citizens as it relates to housing, but cannot deliver in the time frame that people expect. As such, plans are in the pipeline to engage with the private sector so they can assist in the construction of those model houses.
She said that the intention when building the units is to “maximize the use of local materials,” and as such, while the demand shows that persons are in favour of having concrete houses constructed, “all the internal work will be done using lumber”.
“So we are planning to move forward engaging the private sector in assisting us to build because nobody would want to wait the next three years and the demand is great, I tell you. We have over 3,000 persons who registered for these duplexes. Government can’t build 3,000 duplexes in a year or so. We can’t,” the minister noted, also cautioning that persons ensure that they get value for money when purchasing these units.
“…ensure that you get value for money. Those houses were intended to be low-cost, moderate and middle but what happened, some of the houses were built and then the amenities that were placed inside carried the cost of the house up and that was not supposed to be. The entire structure and whatever was inside should have been low, moderate and middle income”, she stated.