Housing Policy Approved; what Residents can expect
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, March 13, 2023 – The Housing Policy has been approved, and three new projects are earmarked to begin construction in a quick effort to ready the Turks and Caicos for the onslaught of workers it is anticipating as the economy and opportunities expand.
During his February 27th State of the State Address, delivered at the second anniversary of his administration, Washington Misick, the TCI Premier expounded upon the developments.
“The demand for decent housing has exploded in recent years, has led to a severe housing shortage for our people and the mushrooming of shanty towns with poor or no infrastructure. Turks and Caicos Islanders and legal residents need quality and affordable housing,” he began.
Misick, a realtor by profession explained that the policy has a ‘mixture of solutions’ which augments the existing support to first-time homeowners. Included in this mixture is Project 1 under the policy: ‘Housing Concessions for Residential Developers.’
Misick said the government is committed to giving developers tax breaks for home buyers’ sake, aimed at spurring the construction of residential communities.
“The government will work with developers and contractors to provide concessions to ensure those are passed on to homeowners so that housing becomes more affordable,” he said.
For those who already have a home, which may be in disrepair, or people who fall into the category of being unable to raise enough capital to purchase a brand new residence, Programs 2 and 3 cover Home Improvement Programs and Community Urban Renewal and Infilling respectively.
Misick said the Government was looking at introducing a home improvement programme to increase the amount and quality of liveable housing; help community renewal and the construction of houses on vacant lots, and finally, increase the housing stock in rundown communities.
“It is critical that we renew some of our decaying communities. It is cheaper to invest money in developing our existing communities, so the Government will continue to do everything to incentivize people to move back,” he maintained.
“Our priority is to embark on a massive affordable housing programme to help more people get back on the housing ladder,” he explained.
According to a Government issued press release, the Cabinet approved the Housing Policy which covers 4 categories: Social and Equitable Housing; First Time Owners; Existing Homeowners, and Community Renewal Programs.
Work of NAECOB critical in ensuring high standards in education, says Minister Hanna-Martin
Bahamas Golden Jubilee Events Announced, Celebrations Across 33 Islands & Cays
#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – As the 50th anniversary of our nation’s independence approaches, Bahamians everywhere are teeming with excitement and expectancy around the year-long celebrations set by The National Independence Secretariat.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister joined H.E Leslia Miller Brice, Chair of The National Independence Secretariat to unveil the Calendar of Events for the 50th Independence celebrations.
The calendar comprises a host of events, initiatives and recommendations for celebrations throughout all 33 islands of The Bahamas.
At this jubilant occasion the PM stated, “Celebrating independence is about acknowledging the greatness around us, the greatness within us, and the greatness ahead of us.
We are Bahamians. That identity is special.”
View the newly released calendar of events here:
JAMAICA: 12,362 Seniors Registered Under New Social Pension Programme
#Kingston, March 28, 2023 – There are currently 12,362 seniors registered under the Government’s new Social Pension Programme.
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, made the disclosure during the sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House on March 2, at Gordon House.
The initiative targets all Jamaican citizens 75 years and older who are not currently in receipt of a pension (overseas or local) or any other retirement, old-age or disability benefit or regular income, and are not living in a government institutionalised care facility.
“We are evaluating the manner in which we qualify persons to go on the programme. This is a discussion we will have to have, as some people fall through the cracks simply because they might have a refrigerator, or they might be lucky enough to have a television at home,” Mr. Samuda said.
“The direction in which we are heading, to have those things, does not move you from poverty to prosperity. So, the Government has an obligation to do everything possible to improve their quality of life, and so we will be looking at that,” the Minister added.
Mr. Samuda said between March 2022 and January 2023, the programme disbursed $446 million.
To register for the social pension programme, persons may visit any of the Ministry’s parish offices islandwide.
They will be required to complete a social pension application form, accompanied by their Tax Registration Number (TRN), National Insurance Scheme (NIS) card, and proof of age in the form of a birth certificate or a valid passport.
They should also take along a valid identification (ID), such as a driver’s licence, passport or voter’s ID, proof of bank account and any other document that may be required to process the application, for example, proof of citizenship.
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