The next phase of the Sister Islands Affordable Housing Development Corporation formally began with a groundbreaking ceremony Friday, 9 December. Eight contractors were awarded the contract to build eight homes on Cayman Brac – four at the Watering Place and four at the West End site, according to a news release.
“People have no idea how much this contract is going to benefit the contractors and the Cayman Brac economy,” said Whitman Tatum, owner of Quality Construction. “Building these homes will give a lot of people here on the Brac much needed work. We were facing a gloomy holiday season, but now we have hope.”
This is the third phase of affordable housing construction on Cayman Brac. Construction is expected to be finished in April.
In the two previous phases, in December 2008 and April 2010, eight houses were built in West End. The Sister Islands Affordable Housing Development was launched in January 2006 as a government-funded, nonprofit entity with the aim to promote home ownership on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman by providing affordable options. It owns two sites in Cayman Brac – the 5-acre Watering Place site, which can accommodate 15 homes, and the 10-acre West End property, which can accommodate 20 to 30 homes, but also has room to expand.
Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, Minister of District Administration, Works, Land and Agriculture, said the West End site will have 0.25 acres demarcated for education purposes. According to a news release, she said the only thing stopping the government from constructing an additional 100 homes was cash, and that it was her hope every Bracker who needed a home would have one in future.
“I cannot wait for the time when I can drive to the Watering Place site and see people in their homes, barbecues going and children playing in their yards,” Ms O’Connor-Connolly said.
She said people in other districts on the Brac were hoping for homes in the areas where they grew up and challenged them to help the corporation find suitable land in those areas for a housing development site.
The eight contractors building the newest affordable homes are C & C Construction, Dixon Contractor, DSS Contractor, Eastwing Construction, McLean Contractor, Ricky Walton Construction, Quality Construction and Vander-Built Contractors. Mr. Tatum said each contractor is projected to hire six to eight workers.
Plans call for a two-bedroom home and three three-bedroom homes to be built at Watering Place, and two two-bedroom homes and six three-bedroom homes at West End. The plans are similar to the existing homes, with 855 square feet for a two-bedroom home and 1,073 square feet for a three-bedroom home.
The corporation has been granted planning permission to build 12 homes, eight of which comprise the third phase of the project. In the past, contractors won the bids to construct the first and second phases at costs of $365,500 and $413,031 respectively.
For more information on how to apply for a home in the Corporation’s subdivisions, call 948-8177, email to [email protected] or visit the Corporation Office in Unit 8 Avistar Building.