Board: No more affordable home purchases

For the foreseeable future, the Cayman Islands National Housing Development Trust is abandoning its previous goal of selling affordable houses to low-income Caymanians, after determining that it is simply not feasible to build decent houses and sell them for under $100,000, board chairman Rayal Bodden said Thursday.

Instead, the Trust will make its houses available for five-year leases, similar to initiatives in Florida and Bermuda.

Since being appointed last year, the new board of the Cayman Islands National Housing Development Trust has taken the affordable home programme in a new direction, involving renting instead of buying, and possibly multi-family developments instead of standalone houses, Mr. Bodden said.

In addition to cost concerns, the decision to rent out the houses instead of sell them was made because of the overwhelming demand for a relatively few number of units.

More than 700 Caymanian families are on the trust’s current list of people who say they need homes – not including families who are currently in trust housing. Those families are currently either finding housing through the private market and/or are receiving assistance from social services. Some of those families have been on the list since 2004.

Offering five-year leases will give families the opportunity for parents to gain more lucrative employment and/or for children to reach adulthood and to either move out or get jobs and contribute to the family’s income.

Please see Monday’s editions of the Caymanian Compass for more on this story….



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