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Rents to rise for relocated tenants

Rents will rise “substantially” for residents of Wedco’s new prefabricated housing at the West End, which will see 20 units added.

The first five of the buildings, put together by a US company, arrived in Bermuda on June 3, Public Works Minister Trevor Moniz told the House of Assembly.

As well as the eventual 20 residences, an additional eight units are to be sent to the National Stadium for use by the Department of Youth and Sport, Mr Moniz said.

The other 20 will be put at the scene of an extensive dig now underway near Dockyard’s historic Victoria and Albert Row.

Once the project is complete, tenants of the decaying Row units will get a choice of moving into the 20 new homes or other Wedco housing, Mr Moniz said.

The scaled-down build is left over from a $36 million Wedco 100 Homes project created under the Progressive Labour Party government, and cut by the One Bermuda Alliance.

Mr Moniz claimed $11 million had been saved in the process.

However, Victoria and Albert Row will need “extensive refurbishments” if they are renovated instead of being demolished.

Mr Moniz admitted under questioning from PLP MP Dennis Lister that he wasn’t sure if the $11 million would cover the job.

And, as for which tenants will get which houses, Mr Moniz told the Opposition “we haven’t arrived at a precise method of allocation”.

Shadow Minister Derrick Burgess couldn’t get specifics on the rent increase anticipated for the new homes, but Mr Moniz said “market rents” could be expected.

The Minister couldn’t provide a per-unit cost for the new homes, as the budget is tied up in extensive infrastructural projects as well.

The decision to put up 20 homes, instead of the 16 envisioned in January, resulted in design changes — most of which are now complete, Mr Moniz told MPs.

The final barge of houses is scheduled to arrive by the middle of July.

And work on the south leg of new sewer and water systems in the area will see the latter completely installed later this month, he said.

The sewer and reclaimed water systems will link up with Boaz Island “next month”, the Minister added. New pumps will be installed later in the summer.

With the new sewers finished, the Boaz Island treatment plant will be “finally taken off-line”, he said.

“This plant has been barely hanging on for years,” Mr Moniz added.

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Published June 08, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 07, 2013 at 10:48 pm)

Rents to rise for relocated tenants

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