Ladies and Gentlemen,
There is something to be said about Dignity.
Dignity means that each and every person deserves the right to lift their heads high—and stand with pride. This government’s Blueprint for Change is rooted in the fundamental idea that the Bahamian people deserve dignity— that is the right to be respected, valued, and treated with care.
We believe that Bahamians MUST be afforded the kinds of opportunities that make for happy, prosperous lives and foster a heightened sense of national esteem.
Today, we present eighteen (18) new keys to homes in the Pinecrest housing development scheme. That is eighteen more individuals and families who tonight can rest their heads in the peace and comfort of their own home.
This is Dignity.
I am incredibly pleased to be able to bring remarks here today, as this marks an important milestone in our mission to house as many Bahamian families as possible. In just eleven (11) months, the Department of Housing has assisted forty (40) Bahamians in becoming homeowners.
This is a strong testament to the focus and diligence of the Minister of Transport and Housing and her team—the Permanent Secretary, the Undersecretary, the Chief Housing Officer and all the public housing officers who work assiduously to help Bahamians realise their dreams of home ownership.
To date, the working arrangements between the central government, a quasi-government agency, a private sector agency and other stakeholders who’ve lent their full strength and attention to this project has proved to be fruitful, and rewarding.
Together, we are working for the maximum benefit of the Bahamian people.
I am also happy to report that this distribution of keys marks the point where Phase I of the Pinecrest Development is more than eighty-five (85) percent complete. This is a truly remarkable feat and represents a tremendous achievement for the Government of the Bahamas.
This is what “HOMES FOR BAHAMIANS” looks like.
The key recipients have all qualified independently. We are especially proud to see young people becoming homeowners, especially in this recovering economic climate. Homeownership in the developing Bahamas is possible, and I believe, through these programmes, is plausible for many more Bahamians.
It is important to note that over forty-seven (47) percent of the key recipients to date are employed in the public service or with quasi-government agencies. They include teachers, nurses, public officers, and members of the uniformed services.
I want to mention that I am especially happy to see two nurses receiving the keys to their new homes. They represent the frontline healthcare workers who battled for us during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our nation owes a huge debt of gratitude to them.
Today marks the third keys presentation since the start of the Pinecrest housing project in January of this year. It is simply a joy to watch this project grow, and to revel, each time, in the shared happiness of these events. This key presentation also comes on the heels of several key presentations in Abaco.
We pledged to house Bahamians. We promised to treat homeownership as a basic human right, as a fundamental and inalienable tenet of human dignity.
We pray that in the coming months and years that many more Bahamians will be empowered and facilitated in their quest for homeownership. We also believe that the recently announced increase to the minimum wage will positively impact mortgage applications.
In addition, facilitating home ownership for Bahamians is crucial to stimulating a robust economy and making it work in the interest of many, and not just a few. When we pledged to return to building homes for Bahamians we did so with the mind to empower Bahamians, engender a sense of hope, and propel a stagnant economy into a new era of growth and prosperity.
We’ve incentivized local contractors by granting Crown Land, and through Public Private Partnerships. The Pinecrest Housing Development initiative is an exemplar of how successful PPP’s can be, and proves that PPP’s are an important financing mechanism.
We plan to use these systems more extensively as we push forward to grow the economy and empower Bahamians.
These housing projects are just part of the larger mission to advance the common good, build generational wealth and set the foundations for a prosperous future. We are thinking ahead; we are planting seeds for a future unseen…
We will persevere.