Construction Plays A Key Part In Further Rebuilding St. Kitts And Nevis’ Economy
Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 15, 2021 (SKNIS): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is looking to the construction sector to fuel further economic recovery in the midterm, according to Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris during the tabling of The Appropriation (2022) Bill, 2021, on Tuesday, December 14, at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort Royal Ballroom.
“We remain hopeful that there will be an improvement in the performance of the construction here by the end of 2021. We expect that the investments made by the Government in projects such as the upgrade of the Island Main Road, the rehabilitation of Old Road Bay, and the road improvement project combined with an upturn in the residential construction would positively impact the sector,” said Prime Minister Harris. “We are working to ensure that the construction sector is put back on track and we invite the private sector to come on board to ensure that this is achieved not only in 2022 but is sustained over the medium term.”
Important to note, is the increase in lending for residential and commercial property recorded by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB)
“Mr. Speaker, the Central Bank in its forecast has indicated that the lending for residential activities has increased by seven (7) percent for this year and commercial property by 16 percent which resulted in a total investment of about $334.2 million during the period. We note this year that the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis approved 50 loans with a total value of $7.4 million for home construction, renovations, and land purchases,” said Dr. Harris.
Prime Minister Harris highlighted the work of the National Housing Corporation (NHC), an entity he described as being a vital partner in bringing the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis’ housing revolution into reality.
“For 2021, the NHC did well to bring a number of houses to completion, some, in collaboration with the National Bank. We also recognize through the PRIDE Programme that 25 homes were delivered and, of course, Mr. Speaker, especially important to the people in East Basseterre, were the 24 units delivered at the Wellington site there,” he said. “Mr. Speaker, in September of this year, we were successful in providing the opportunity to 24 deserving individuals to own their homes on Wellington Road. This is the first phase of the rejuvenation of that urban area that was made possible with the support of the Government of Venezuela. This was a crowning achievement for NHC in its 25th year of nation-building and we are pleased to report that the NHC has already started Phase two (2) of that housing development on Wellington Road, the prime minister added.
Prime Minister Harris indicated that the construction sector has gone through a series of changes over the history of St. Kitts and Nevis’ development, however, “the speed and severity of the disruptions in investment in the sector was a consequence” of the COVID-19 Pandemic. He noted that the “lockdowns, closure of borders, the outbreak, as well as surges of the virus” significantly impacted the construction sector globally.