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Senate: Grand Atlantic costs revealed

The Grand Atlantic condominium complex on South Shore, Warwick (File photograph)

The Government is spending $168,400 a year to maintain a failed affordable housing development, in Warwick, the Senate heard on Wednesday.

Vance Campbell, the junior public works minister, confirmed the figure.

He added that a plan to turn the Grand Atlantic site into a condominium hotel were “advancing”.

Marcus Jones, a One Bermuda Alliance senator, said he had raised Grand Atlantic after the Government pledged to look at building studio and one-bedroom apartments in the City of Hamilton.

The development was built as affordable housing, but only two of the 78 units were sold.

Mr Jones said the Government may want to stop and rethink its approach before building more houses and instead consider other ways to help Bermudians get on the housing ladder.

He added: “One of the major issues for young people is actually access to capital.

“I believe the Government has done well in their Throne Speech in tackling the issue of mortgage rates, of finding ways to make it easier for young people to get help with their down payments.

“I think that’s where Government needs to focus it’s efforts and energy. That I believe will go much further.”

Mr Campbell said that Dwayne Robinson, an OBA senator, signalled last week that he might be interested in the Hamilton homes, which were announced in the Throne Speech.

He said: “That would be an example of a person who would want to avail themselves of the opportunity.

“I don’t know what the intended price point would be for those units, but that would all be a part of the process as Government decides to move ahead or not move ahead.”

Mr Campbell added that Grand Atlantic had become a “political football” after fears were raised over the stability of a nearby cliff face.

He said the site was used as accommodation for America’s Cup team members last year without complaint.