In recent months we have been having a good debate about housing in the country. Much of the debate is about affordable housing for low income earners. The blogmaster visited FCIB’s website to use a mortgage calculator to generate four scenarios using an amount of $200,000 repaid over 25 and 30 years using rates of 3.25% and 3.75%. The conclusion by the blogmaster is that for low income earners to contract a mortgage at this juncture will be a mistake.
Job tenure is not what it use to be, there is no stability. Private sector in Barbados and beyond have started to struggle maintaining stable jobs given the nature of doing business in these times. Governments are in a similar position given today’s volatility. The harsh reality is that many low income people will not be able to afford a house using a traditional planning approach. The suggestion gaining popularity is ‘rent to own’.
The other consideration, we have to change our way of thinking to building housing solutions. There is limited land space in Barbados which requires planners to efficiently utilize the land. Building ‘ranch style’ houses should be an approach whose time has long gone. The blogmaster accepts the culture of Barbadians is one where we like the little cottage, white picket fence approach but there is a reality that must start to sink in. If we continue to dot the landscape with little houses the result is it will be analogous to the scene we presently have of 150 thousand vehicles on the road.