Homeownership facilitates laying roots in communities, says Prime Minister Harris

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, January 20, 2020 (PLP PR Media Inc.) — More citizens and residents of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis have in the last five years been bequeathed the opportunity to lay roots in the communities they live through homeownership thanks to National Housing Corporation’s Unity Housing Solution Programme.

“What we are doing here is what we have done all over the country before,” said Prime Minister, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, on Friday January 17 at a house-allocation ceremony held at Phillips’ Village, where 17 new homeowners received keys to houses in Bellevue, Tabernacle, Phillips, Christchurch, and Lodge Project – all in Constituency Number Seven. Keys to two other houses will be handed over shortly.

“A home is an important investment – you have to treat it with all the care and consideration,” advised Dr Harris, who is also the Area Parliamentary Representative for Constituency Number Seven. “The home is somewhere that you will raise your family, and you will share memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life. A home is you and your family laying roots in a community – in this case Phillips, in the case of some persons in Bellevue, in the case of others in Tabernacle, in the case of others in Lodge Project.”

Homeownership, Prime Minister noted, gives people confidence knowing that they are empowered and are independent. A house gives the owner a sense of economic freedom from paying rent on a property they do not own, and he reminded that they are experiencing that transformation for having made the wise decision in February of 2015 when faced with the choice, the best choice they made was to vote for Team Unity.

“A moment like this, of course, brings a special joy and pride and happiness to me not just as the prime minister but particularly as your parliamentary representative when I see some of the people who are here, and who thanks to the Team Unity Administration will for the first time own a key which they can say, ‘this is the key to my own home’,” observed Dr Harris.

The ceremony was attended by the Hon Eugene Hamilton, Federal Minister for Human Settlements et al; Mr Valentine Lindsay, Chairman of the National Housing Corporation (NHC); and Mr Charles Morton, NHC’s General Manager. The ceremony was chaired by Ms Jonelle Rawlins, NHC’s Public Relations Manager.

“The Team Unity Government has made welcome progress in the area of housing for which I thank the Minister of Housing the Hon Eugene Hamilton,” said Prime Minister Harris. “The National Housing Corporation, before year end, is expected to deliver 400 houses. They will be bigger and better than any before. Already this government has delivered over 3,000 housing solutions through a variety of government housing programmes.”

The previous administration had taken nearly 2,000 acres in the land for debt swap arrangement, which made land out of reach for the ordinary person. Prime Minister Harris told the gathering that his Team Unity Administration has in the last two years spent over $200 million to buy back 400 acres of land in Lodge, Cayon, Sandy Point, and Lamberts for ordinary people.

“We have redeemed 400 acres of land,” said Prime Minister Harris. “At 5,000 square foot we have about eight homes for every acre. Multiply that by 400 – it means 3,200 persons now have the opportunity to own their piece of the rock in St. Kitts and Nevis thanks to the vision and progressive policies of your government – the vision of a property-owning society which Team Unity is ably constructing.”

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