The Office of the Prime Minister held its first official press briefing on Wednesday, October 20th. The press briefing was the first of many briefings to come, which aim to provide the media and the Bahamian public with a new avenue for further access to information. During this first press briefing, Minister of Transport and Housing, Hon. Jobeth Coleby-Davis provided an update on various housing programs at the Ministry of Housing.
Spring City, Abaco Subdivision
The first housing priority of the Government is providing assistance to those in Abaco, as the Minister expressed the island has suffered a great loss and there is a great need for work to be done there. Minister Coleby-Davis advised that the tender process for the construction of the road for a 21-lot subdivision in Spring City has begun. The tender document has been drafted and upon approval the government will be ready for the bids for the road works. The process is expected to take 4 to 5 weeks.
The Minister advised that while other sites are being worked on in Abaco, Spring City is currently the priority before work begins in Central Pines and Sands Cove.
An update about the Young Professionals Prospect Ridge Community was provided where it was revealed that the Minister and her technical team visited the site to determine how to respond to the demand that exists.
According to the Minister, “There is a lot of groundwork that has yet to be started that must be done. Work related to a master plan. I’ve spoken to the company that was previously engaged by the former administration and absolutely nothing has been done yet.”
Minister Coleby-Davis further went on to say that nothing has been done in terms of creating a master plan to do the work at Prospect Ridge, and there has been no feasibility study and no typography study to provide us with the lay of the land.
As a result of the inefficiencies the Minister stated that the Government is not in a position to determine the infrastructural cost, however she does believe it will be great.
She stated, “We are hoping, and we are confident that we are able to do this development, but it may not be in the time that originally was provided because we want to make sure these studies are completed and we have enough information to determine cost and timing for the Bahamian public.”
Carmichael Village Subdivision
Minister Coleby-Davis provided an update on the Carmichael Subdivision where she advised she has already toured the site with her technical team, and they are very optimistic they can get the project back on track and in a very short time begin the construction of homes.
She said, “We are excited, and in the next week my technical team will be meeting with various contractors so that we can determine where we are and how we are placed with Carmichael Village and the timeline of us getting started with construction.”
She advised that upon assessment of the road height in the area it was revealed that there will be additional cost relating to foundation as a lot of areas need to be filled in. Engineers are currently in the process of working out the cost of this adjustment.
Minister Coleby-Davis stated, “Very shortly you will see homes going up in the subdivision of Carmichael.”
She also revealed that the Government is looking at other areas that belong to the Ministry of Housing to start constructing homes on and renovations on properties that presently exist in rental units.