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Bees need to be straight on housing


BOB VERDUN

Bees need to be straight on housing

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BLIND PARTISAN RAGE is making the Queen Bee and the semi-retired King Bee sound like raving fools.

Mia Mottley and Owen Arthur need to recheck the decisions their Barbados Labour Party Government made with respect to Bjorn Bjerkhamn and his JADA company before making stinging accusations against the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government for its dealings with this construction giant.

Mr Bjerkhamn’s monstrosity at Dover Beach was built on publicly owned land, and it now deprives Bajans and visitors of having proper access to what was once a very popular local beach.

The hideous building ensures that the Government will never realize the value from its overshadowed and tarnished BLP-created Gem called Time Out At The Gap.

Mr B.B. was also given favourable consideration by the Arthur-Mottley Government with respect to Port St Charles.

This was followed by its ugly stepsister Port Ferdinand, which is impeding local fisherfolk and sea bathers in the limited public beach north of Port St Charles.

I credit Prime Minister David Thompson with obtaining improvements to the latter project, after it had been approved by his predecessor and could not be stopped.

Mr Arthur should be sure of his facts regarding his former ally’s project at Coverley. 

As far as I can determine, based on my 35 years of experience in marketing real estate, these are market-priced homes being offered in the range of $320 per square foot for high-quality construction.

The prices would be higher if the National Housing Corporation (NHC) had not provided cheap land, and if Town & Country Planning had not allowed higher density than usual.

In this case, the builder-developers are taking a big risk, because they must find
1 000 free-market purchasers (with salaries in the range of civil servants) who are willing to buy a home that is closer to the neighbours than has been traditional.  

Marketing costs alone are significant, and that is a cost that never applies to subsidised homes with long waiting lists.

If they are wrong, Mr B.B. and his associates will have to cut their prices, and maybe even take a loss.

Minister of Housing Michael Lashley and the NHC are doing excellent work on many fronts with subsidised housing, but this is an option that doesn’t strain the Public Treasury.

I hope it’s a great success.

BOB VERDUN

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