Construction of houses not a profit-making scheme- Housing Ministry
The Ministry of Housing and Water has rebuffed an article published in a local daily newspaper claiming that the ministry is constructing and selling homes for a profit.
In a statement, the ministry said that the information shared in the article is “grossly distorted” and does not fully reflect the information presented by the Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal to questions posed to him by Opposition Parliamentarian Annette Ferguson.
The two-part question posed by Ferguson sought clarity on the $13.9 billion contract for the construction of housing units in Regions Three, Four, Five and Six and the breakdown of the category of persons to benefit and the expected and final cost for the housing units.
The ministry said that the response given clearly outlined that persons within the Low, Moderate, Middle, and High brackets will benefit from this initiative.
A breakdown of costing was also provided, and as has been the policy for years under similar housing projects, the cost for the land is included in the final cost.
Further, it was explained that cost for the low-income units carry a final cost of $5.5 million of which $300,000 will go towards the cost for the land. Therefore, the house itself costs $5.2 million.
The Moderate-Income units will be sold at $7.5 million of which $300,000 will go towards for land and the remaining $7.2 million is the unit’s cost.
And, the cost for high- and middle-income units stands at $13.9 million and $19.9 million respectively with the land carrying a cost of $1.5 million each.
The ministry stated, “As has been the policy on similar housing projects for the construction of housing, each beneficiary is only required to pay the Ministry of Housing’s Central Housing and Planning Authority, the cost of the land.
“The reminder cost is paid to the contractor, through a mortgage scheme with any financial institution of the beneficiary’s choice.”
As such, the ministry posited that it was both “preposterous” and “disingenuous” for the daily newspaper to suggest that the agency was making a profit on the units. Furthermore, it was highlighted that the cost for the lands these units are built on are heavily subsidized by the government.
Importantly, the ministry also reminded that the contracts for the construction of the 5,000 housing units across the four regions were awarded using the competitive bidding process by public tender.
“All of the government’s programs, including its ambitious housing drive are crafted for the people of this country and are not profit-driven in any way,” the statement read.
Furthermore, it noted that the Ministry will continue to execute its programs and policies with precision, transparency and equality.