SI affordable housing progresses

Construction has begun on the first four homes of Phase 1 of the Sister Islands Affordable Housing Programme and at least one is expected to be complete by December.

Whitman Tatum, right with foreman Devon Lynch

Quality Construction owner Whitman Tatum, right with foreman Devon Lynch, at the SI Affordable Housing Programmes West End site. Photo: Submitted

Quality Construction, which was awarded the contract by the Central Tenders Committee, began building on 23 July and is required to complete the project by 23 May 2008.

Each three-bedroom home is 1,075 square feet on a 100ft x100 ft lot, and all four are on the SIAHP West End site on Bonita Crescent, off Alta Vista Drive. Their eventual owners will own the house and land outright, said a press SIAHP press release.

The buildings will have concrete inner and outer walls with hurricane straps poured into the belting. According to Whitman Tatum, owner of Quality Construction, every home will exceed Cayman Islands Government building standards for withstanding hurricanes. At this location, they are also elevated and therefore resistant to flooding.

When Phase 1 of the programme is complete, it will have six homes and a playground of around 20,000 square feet at the West End site and one home and a playground at a second site at Watering Place, one of the Brac’s eastern districts.

The SIAHP is managed by the Sister Islands Affordable Housing Development Corporation, a government-funded, non-profit company.

SIAHC Committee has received approximately 25 applications, which they will review to decide which applicants are eligible, based on income evaluation as well as need.

The programme’s objective is to help people who are in a position to make loan payments but would not qualify for a mortgage through the usual process.

Successful applicants will be able to use the land parcel of their future home as collateral to secure a mortgage from Cayman National Bank, which is partnering with the SIAHDC for the financing of Phase 1, the release said.

SIAHDC was launched with $800,000 of government funding, which is expected to be sufficient funding to build the seven homes in Phase 1, including the site preparation and fill.

‘The diligence of the Committee and the support of Government has ensured that this project will have a quantifiable impact on the social and economic fabric of the Cayman Brac community,’ said Sister Islands MLA Moses Kirkconnell.