Affordable housing materials crumbling

Cupboards falling off walls, shelves and pipes breaking, and trouble with the sewer system are causing problems in Cayman’s affordable housing, the Legislative Assembly heard.

In response to a question from Bodden Town MLA Osbourne Bodden on the condition of the homes built by the National Housing and Community Development under the previous government, Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts listed some of the problems being encountered.

Mr. Tibbetts told the House on Monday that kitchen cupboards had been falling off walls which were apparently not sturdy enough to hold much weight.

Closet shelves had been breaking because it was found only a thin wire was holding fixtures, he said.

Pipes had been breaking, causing some flooding and in fact, said Mr. Tibbetts, the maintenance manager was in the process of replacing all the valves in kitchen sinks, bathroom basins, showers and tubs at an expected cost of about $32,000 just for the materials.

There had also been a problem with the sewer system, said Mr. Tibbetts.

‘When flushing the toilet there has been water coming up into the kitchen,’ he told the House.

Mr. Tibbetts said he felt sure there would be continuous repairs to these homes over their expected life of about 10 years.

‘The material used in the construction of these homes has begun to deteriorate at an even more rapid pace since the hurricane,’ he said.

Mr. Tibbetts said that since the first occupants moved into the homes in 2004, maintenance staff had been kept busy with repairs.

‘The maintenance manager has tried to find spare parts for these homes locally and in Cuba but has not been able to do so,’ he told the House.

‘Since the remaining 68 homes have not been built, the materials that should have been used for the construction of these homes are now being used as spare parts for repairing the existing homes,’ he said.

Asked how many homes were occupied, Mr. Tibbetts said that 69 in West Bay and 10 in Windsor Park had been allocated. Of the 13 homes on Eastern Avenue, 11 were occupied, one was assigned as a Bonaventure half way home and the last was to be assigned shortly.

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