NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The government will build 400 low-cost homes for people impacted by Hurricane Dorian, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced on Wednesday.
Minnis made the announcement during a contribution to Parliament after government MPs passed a vote of confidence in him as prime minister.
He was addressing the government’s continued recovery and reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of the deadly Category 5 storm – which devastated Grand Bahama and Abaco – leaving thousands displaced.
“We know that housing is a problem, and we are in the process now of demarcating chucks of land to commence construction of subdivisions,” Minnis said.
“We are also having next year a donor conference by the UNDP United Nations and we are hoping that we will raise sufficient money where we can place the infrastructure in place of those various subdivision.
“So we will have the land that will be basically donated or free to the homeowner, then construction would essentially be free to the homeowners, in that would be put in by the donor group.
“We also know that the land falls within the economic free zone and therefore all duties are free.
“And if we are doing 400 homes then we can establish RFPs with four, five contractors who would be able to build these homes and I think we would be able to build homes the cheapest ever in The Bahamas, with all the amenities being added.”
The prime minister did not detail how individuals would be chosen for the homes, or what the process would be to getting one.
He added: “I would think for the first time, I’m certain that there would be contractors out there knowing that there would be no cost to the land, no cost to the infrastructure, no cost to the construction material.
“I’m certain there are contractors out there who would mobilize their own funds and allow individuals to move in without any form of down payment, just start monthly payments and that would be an even better situation for the many new homeowners as we start to rebuild.
“They would hear a lot more about that as we move further.”
Dorian ravaged Abaco and Grand Bahama on September 1-3.
The government has announced that it will spend $6.4 million on 250 dome structures for temporary housing for Bahamians displaced
Each dome structure includes plumbing, drainage, a sewer system, and electricity; and will be able to accommodate between four to six people.
Officials have said that 90 of those domes are already on the island and they hope to have 110 there by Christmas.
The Family Relief Centre which is slated to be near Spring City, Abaco, will house 125 of the 250 domes, while the other 125 will be reserved for homeowners who are restoring and or repairing their homes.
According to Disaster Relief and Reconstruction Committee Chairman John Michael Clarke, the Department of Social Services already has a list of Hurricane Dorian victims who may qualify for the temporary homes.