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BHC properties to be renovated as affordable homes

Two for the price of one: David Burch, the minister of public works, said the economic stimulus programme will help people get back to work and also provide much-needed housing (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Government’s short term economic stimulus plan will provide affordable homes as well as jobs, according to a Government Minister.

David Burch, the minister for public works said that $1.6 million was being spent on renovating 17 Bermuda Housing Corporation (BHC) properties.

Colonel Burch spoke at a press conference yesterday at the former Harmony Club in Paget – one of the properties that is to be revamped.

Colonel Burch said: “I'd like to highlight another aspect of the economic stimulus programme – a series of ongoing works, upgrades and refurbishments at our Bermuda Housing Corporation properties.

“There are around nine BHC projects that will be under construction. An allocation of $1.6 million has been budgeted for these works.

“The funding is being provided as part of the stimulus programme. You may recall that during the budget debate, there was no funding for housing but we have pushed and convinced the Minister of Finance to provide some funding.

“I should stress that these projects are mostly infrastructure improvements and have not added any further burden to the government operational expenses.”

Other BHC properties in line for a revamp include Ripon Cottage in St. George’s and homes on Rock Oven Lane and Tommy Fox Road. In total, 17 units will become habitable over the next 12 months.

Colonel Burch said: “So as you can see there are substantive works planned aimed at getting our people back to work and the economy back on track.

“Successive governments have not added to the housing stock in a decade, so we are quite pleased to be announcing these works – that will go some way to providing housing for the needy.

“Quite simply the Ministry's economic stimulus programme was launched to meet the urgent need of providing stimulus to our economy in order to retain and boost employment numbers in the wake of the economic downturn sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Overall, we are very pleased and encouraged with the response to the stimulus programme thus far from both contractors and employees – all of whom want to get to work and help improve our economy. We can’t wait to have these units completed so that we can provide housing for our people.“

The economic stimulus initiative is aimed at providing employment and building opportunities for small to medium sized contractors.

Colonel Burch said that 16 projects had started under the economic stimulus programme. Nine projects are ongoing, five are completed and two projects have been awarded and are awaiting start dates.

“There are several other projects that we are working on that will go out to tender shortly,” Colonel Burch said.

“The project’s selection principles are to maximise the employment of the private sector while providing much needed refreshing of neglected infrastructure.”

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Published July 22, 2021 at 7:53 am (Updated July 22, 2021 at 7:31 am)

BHC properties to be renovated as affordable homes

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