PPM questions Coe Wood plans

Several government housing and other development projects are on hold pending internal reviews, according to government ministers responsible for those projects.

Opposition members last week questioned ministers about the Coe Wood beach redevelopment in Bodden Town and several government-assisted home and mortgage programmes.

Works Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly told lawmakers that the entire redevelopment of Coe Wood was being reviewed and that alternate locations for a dock and boat launching ramp there are being explored.

Mrs. O’Connor-Connolly said that some miscalculations had been made at the current dig site for the dock, and would have to be corrected if the project goes forward.

‘The government would not wish to anticipate the outcome of the (project) review,’ she said.

‘Should I interpret this to mean the project is effectively dead?’ asked opposition member Alden McLaughlin.

‘The project is not dead,’ Mrs. O’Connor-Connolly replied. ‘The government is alive and fiscally prudent.’

Mrs. O’Connor-Connolly said the government would remain vigilant for any opportunities to stimulate the economy by providing ‘sustainable projects’ for all Islands districts.

Opposition Leader Kurt Tibbetts asked about government policies regarding the National Housing Trust programmes, which assist Caymanians in purchasing homes, getting loans, and building on property they already own.

Five such programmes are currently operated by the trust. They include the Government Guaranteed Home Assisted Mortgage, the Affordable Housing programme, the Helping Hands programme, the Build on Your Own Property programme, and the NHDT Community Outreach Club.

Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush told the Legislative Assembly last week that the new trust board of directors is reviewing all policies and award criteria for the National Housing Trust’s various programmes.

‘Once the chairman and directors have reviewed the current policies…the government’s policy position will be articulated,’ Mr. Bush said.

Mr. Tibbetts asked whether government would proceed with certain housing projects that have already been granted planning approval and were ready for construction to begin.

Mr. Bush said some of the properties would begin work and that planning approvals would need to be sought for others. He also noted that construction sites previously identified for those housing projects would continue to be used.

‘We would have to use them…because we simply don’t have enough money to use other sites,’ Mr. Bush said.

Opposition MLA Arden McLean said he had noticed no work recently on a particular East End district housing site that was started before the May elections.

‘This site was significantly advanced,’ Mr. McLean said.

‘Many things were started out before the election, without the money to follow any of it through,’ Mr. Bush said.

Pullout: ‘Mrs. O’Connor-Connolly said that some miscalculations had been made at the current dig site for the dock, and would have to be corrected if the project goes forward.’