Prime Minister Makes Good on Promise to Provide Serviced Lots for Bahamians

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In keeping with his government’s commitment to making it easier for young Bahamians to own their own homes, Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis officially launched the Serviced Lots Initiative at Sunset Close Subdivision Extension on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Located in the busy hub of the Carmichael Road area, approval was given for the subdivision’s extension in 2016. A ceremony was held under a new mandate, in which the Ministry of Housing and the Environment’s focus is to offer for sale “Serviced Lots” to qualified Bahamians. “This initiative will foster economic independence and empower Bahamians,” the Prime Minister said. “My government is making it easier for Bahamians, in particular, young Bahamians, to own their own homes.” Also present for the occasion were Cabinet Ministers, Senators, Members of Parliament, Clergy, Senior Government Officials, board members of the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation, and residents of Sunset Close Subdivision. The 3.06-acre tract of land, which came to be known as Sunset Close Subdivision, was conveyed in October 2011 from the Treasurer of The Bahamas to the Minister Responsible for Housing for the development of an affordable housing area. The land was subdivided into 16 lots, at approximately 5,000 square feet each, and a 16,655-square-foot passive park. The name was derived from its location for it sits within the existing Sunset Subdivision. Purchasers will secure a mortgage and be given two years to complete construction of a single family dwelling home. Purchasers will also have the opportunity to take full responsibility for the design of their own home, the engagement of contractors and others.

The Sunset Close Subdivision Extension comprising 56,237 square feet was conveyed by a grant in 2018 from the Treasurer of The Bahamas to the Minister Responsible for Housing, for further development. The extension has 10 lots of approximately 4,000-5,000 square feet each.  The hallmarks of this initiative are ownership, equity choice, and flexibility, all of which will be aided by duty-free concessions, the Prime Minister said. “In the past, the Department of Housing provided mortgage housing packages, which afforded little to no flexibility for the homeowner to customize their new home. Today, we are changing this!” he noted. From the outset, the land that is acquired will contain equity to facilitate any mortgage that may be required to build. Lots will be sold on average $15,000 to $30,000.  “When we say fully serviced lots, we mean that the lots will already include the infrastructure to start construction, including electricity, water, and paved roadways,” the Prime Minister said. He added that the Ministry of the Environment and Housing has already begun discussions with the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation, and Bank of The Bahamas to help pave the way where mortgages are necessary.  The programme will provide prospective homeowners who purchase one of the serviced lots with access to customs duties and excise tax exemption on materials necessary to construct a single-family home. The Department of Housing is working to provide the second parcel of serviced lots, located in the Lionel Davis Subdivision in the Fox Hill community. Those lots will be available for sale by early October 2018. The Prime Minister said that he was “especially excited” to announce that in January 2019 over 300 such serviced lots will be made available for sale in the Carmichael Village Subdivision. And, the Department of Housing and the Department of Lands & Surveys are also identifying land for subdivisions on Andros, Abaco, Exuma and San Salvador. Other islands will be addressed subsequently. Beginning today, interested Bahamians may go online to the Bahamas Government’s website, and download the serviced lots application form. The completed application form and supporting documents may be submitted to servicedlotsunit@bahamas.gov.bs or delivered to the Department of Housing, Shirley Street.

 

A monument to the serviced lots initiative is unveiled by Prime Minister Minnis (center right) and Minister Ferreira (center left), accompanied by Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Land, Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe (right), Pastor Jeff Beckles and Acting Permanent Secretary Janice Miller.

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