Low Income Earners – Affording a House in Barbados

Minister of Sports - Dwight Sutherland

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.

87 comments

  • It would be of interest to ascertain the process or criteria by which a person living below poverty level in Barbados can obtain a loan for house or what particularly the banks are looking for from persons whom according to the article are low income earning?

    Like

  • Remember its all the other stuff insurance taxes water hydro upkeep closing costs etc its not just a mortgage payment.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ David
    You keep being so damn kind to the private sector. The country has gone through some relatively great economic times and the private sector has benefitted tremendously with increased profits and ripping off consumers at every opportunity.
    When have you ever seen the private sector engaged in any activity that would have brought sustainable benefits to the lower income housing needs ?
    Name three housing projects that they have created to assist government with meeting such needs.
    One of the most successful lower income housing projects was one by the late Dacosta “ Joy” Edwards back in the 70s , when he ( as a private individual) engaged in building comfortable houses for lower income citizens.
    However, I must say that the current attempts to use hardwood from Guyana to build houses costing just about $100, 000 has some potential.
    Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @David, great article and I endorse. It’s folly to continue to push the idea every single person needs to have a house spot. Eventually, gentrification will take over due to the desire to satisfy the needs of the rich expats under the guise we need the fx, in a country the size of a village.

    On the flip side many seem not to understand the natural vegetation is not just useless bush but a useful ecosystem helping to regulate pollination, helps with flood mitigation, absorb greenhouse gases and help reflect solar radiation.

    Perhaps, we await some World Bank or IMF study to tell us we must go up with adequate green paces with roof top gardens/verticals farming rather than across.

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  • Critical Analyzer

    We need to leave the mortgages for the high income earners and go back to the traditional bajan way of purchasing the land, digging a well and starting with a chattel house.

    Secondly, government needs to put all the derelict abandoned properties behind on their taxes in a property bank, set a target income range to qualify based on value and do a rent to own or low interest government loan.

    Like

  • @ David
    Bushie challenges you to name ANY of our politicians who can be shown to know what the Hell they are doing…. ANY one….Any party

    Simple criteria:
    Let them come on BU (Or on Brass Tacks – NOT on Mondays though!!) and defend the direction in which they are taking this WHOLE country.

    Not one of those brass bowl clowns can speak on any topic in front of a collection of KNOWN experts, so they get Enuff, Lorenzo and their cousins along with some mendicants from the Block, together in a room and call CBC to talk the lotta shiite that we hear…no challenges, no questions.

    NOTHING that they promise EVER works out…
    (but we all know that the hidden agendas that they DON’T mention continue to roll into their accounts)

    What a place…

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    How is it that we have a declining population,declining size of family,declining number of families and we have such a large demand for housing? Is this demand effective demand? Demand backed with ability to pay and maintain a home?/ Were the lists at NHC and the former lists at RDC and The UBC reviewed and reduced to the level of real demand for housing? Why should the taxpayers be saddled with providing these houses ? Why should the Financial system be put at risk to provide housing for which iIMHO there is no demand? Why?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Does low income imply employed?

    Can you be low income and unemployed?

    What is the current level of unemployment in Barbados?

    If that means no income, how many Bajans do not qualify for the lowest of low income houses?

    All you are looking at money laundering through the Banks in Barbados!!

    The facade of “low income housing” is just meant to conceal the reality.

    Like

  • @Vincent

    A reasonable perspective worthy of exploration. A lot of hype around housing is fed by a political motive. Are we privy to any report the result of a deep dive investigation?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent CodringtonMay 23, 2022 9:03 AM

    How is it that we have a declining population,declining size of family,declining number of families and we have such a large demand for housing? Is this demand effective demand? Demand backed with ability to pay and maintain a home?/ Were the lists at NHC and the former lists at RDC and The UBC reviewed and reduced to the level of real demand for housing? Why should the taxpayers be saddled with providing these houses ? Why should the Financial system be put at risk to provide housing for which iIMHO there is no demand? Why?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    VC

    All it is is money laundering.

    The money laundering employs Bajans in construction, keeps the retail sector going and pays the kickbacks to politicians.

    Barbados cannot survive without it.

    Like

  • William SkinnerMay 23, 2022 7:23 AM

    However, I must say that the current attempts to use hardwood from Guyana to build houses costing just about $100, 000 has some potential.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Bajans once exposed to the mansions being built will never be satisfied with wooden chattel housed even if they are built out of Guyana hardwood.

    … it ent goin happen!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • The target is low income earners and take up of hardwood homes will be a function of what is affordable.

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  • Wall houses can’t done!!

    Go look at many of the houses in many of the “low income” developments and you will realise that they are as extensive as any plantation great house from the past.

    The major difference is they are built on 2X4 pieces of land and do not have the atmosphere or ambience vacant space and trees create for any house.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    Are houses built of wood cheaper than houses built of local lime stone over the long term? Let us see the computations.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The following was received from long time member of the BU family:

    I read your post on the subject earlier this morning. I agree with the points you made. Affordable detached housing is out of the reach of low income earners in Barbados and when attempts to construct such houses are made what results is little more than chicken coops (Lancaster,St James is a typical example).
    Between 2013 and 2017 I carried out many structural surveys on the terrace housing units for the NHC mainly in Ch Ch and St Michael. When these units were originally built back in the 70s and 80s it was a sound concept but more recent units have shown very little improvement, it’s like someone took up the old drawings and built from them. With some changes to this type of development (layout, services etc) this could again become a viable option and rent to buy or outright purchase could be the way to go. I thought the floor area was adequate but the layouts could be improved significantly. Also attention to privacy, security etc needs to be addressed. I’m not impressed by the high rise units, I don’t think this fits in well with the Barbadian model.
    As an aside the total land area for the terrace units is around 1300 sq ft 80’x 16′). This allows several units on a small area and still allow for recreational space. I would like to see this concept revived. The NHC could have a design competition to come up with the best, most economical concepts.
    Bentley Norville, Registered Professional Engineer

     

    Liked by 1 person

  • Critical AnalyzerMay 23, 2022 8:26 AM

    We need to leave the mortgages for the high income earners and go back to the traditional bajan way of purchasing the land, digging a well and starting with a chattel house.

    Secondly, government needs to put all the derelict abandoned properties behind on their taxes in a property bank, set a target income range to qualify based on value and do a rent to own or low interest government loan.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Chattel houses are not going to make any miraculous return because Bajans have been trained to want more.

    Land Tax arrears should be forgiven and Land Tax rates dropped to sustainable levels.

    The Land Tax Scam allows vultures associated with the GOB to hover while unsustainable debts to the GOB are built up and then strike at public auction when the properties are auctioned to pay the manufactured debts.

    Land Taxes should never result in the dispossession of “low income” property owners, even if they are “no income” property owners!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • William Skinner

    @ John
    I was involved in some greenheart house building possibilities about to hundred years ago!’
    You are somewhat correct that once it’s wood people may consider it inferior to wall.
    Hopefully, we can change this mindset and explain that these houses will be more durable than the traditional wooden house.
    Personally, I will like to see them star at about 60/75 thousand each.
    I always remember the first cars Simpsons brought in; they were called “ motor cycles on wheels”
    Well , we all know what happened!
    Peace

    Like

  • When more and more land is taken up to be converted into houses for the fictional “low income” earners, the demand on water further increases.

    In drought years all Barbados will smell hell … apart from being smelly from going without bathing.

    Construction long ago became a dead end economic activity but it attracts so much money that needs to be laundered and the kickbacks are so sweet that it will never end until it is put to an end by reality.

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  • We are fortunate to have one of the 100 most influential persons on earth in our midst to address these problems.

    https://time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2022/6177695/mia-mottley/

    Liked by 1 person

  • @William

    We must disagree. Charting a strategic path for housing must start with government policies.

    Like

  • @ Bentley Norville who wrote ” The NHC could have a design competition to come up with the best, most economical concepts.. ”

    Great idea. There are enough Bajan Architects, Engineers and planners to provide a solution.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hants
    Barbadians have been designing their houses for over one hundred years. Why must this be a public sector issue/concern ?. And they built what their pockets could afford.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Is the issue about design only or strategic use of land and technology aligned with a long term vision which must of necessity require a collaborative approach between private and public sector.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David Bu

    The areas in your interventions have all been taken care of and are adequately monitored by the relevant Public Service departments. Your fears fall into the area of micromanaging .This is costly to the taxpayers and paves the way to corruption alluded to by John.

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  • @Vincent

    The blogmaster has the image of houses being built scattered across the land as if an Elsa was involved in the planning.

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  • The subject of ten thousand and of recent mention of twenty thousand houses built in Barbados within five years goes beyond the imagination of anyone except govt and its foot soldiers
    Four years and counting govt has yet to complete about five hundred 2×4 stalls promised in a year situated in Fairchild st.
    This subject has been melted down on Bu on several pieces
    Yet BU ressurect a subject matter that doesn’t make sense in whatever manner one sees thinks or hear of it
    Meanwhile madness has taken over the landscape of Barbados clothed in anti religious views in meantime David keeps digging rabbit holes for some to head down
    Govt must be proud of u David cause come rain or stromy weather you stand vanguard making sure govt feet remains dry

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  • Bushie – Why you don’t rest muh? Wuh u know bout me?
    David – There was a competition.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David Bu at 11 :22 AM

    David Bu where did you get this image from? After all these centuries of proper urban and rural planning have Barbadians become lawless. and devoid of common sense. ? Where reckless squatting has occurred it came about from micro managing by persons who are acting outside their remit.

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  • David
    Higher density does not necessarily mean tall buildings, as quads etc also achieve higher densities. There’s scope for “tall” residential buildings but the areas currently available are mostly unsuitable. Tall residential buildings are a different kettle of fish.

    Liked by 1 person

  • “Four years and counting govt has yet to complete about five hundred 2×4 stalls promised in a year situated in Fairchild st.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Here we go again.

    Another intentional misrepresentation of the truth.

    Like

  • @enuff

    The blogmaster is not an sme, what we know is that looking around housing development seems unplanned. Talks Lower Greys as an example, a few houses planted in the middle of prime agricultural land.

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  • @ David

    You are correct.

    Over the years, successive BLP and DLP administrations have been unable to formulate any progressive, sustainable housing development solutions for Barbadians.

    The previous administration bragged about ‘Housing Every Last Person’ (HELP).
    I remember in 2016 when former Minister of Housing and Lands, Denis Kellman said, he “delivered,” while telling his ‘party’s faithful’ about the few ‘2×4 houses’ NHC built at Lancaster.

    And, the current administration has been touting an equally adventurous and ambitious venture to build 1,000 houses per year for the next five years, under a housing project called, ‘Home Ownership Providing Energy’ (HOPE).

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  • How can you have a 2×4 house in a 2×3 country? Somebody sleeping in the sea?
    Hi… Just arrived.

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  • David
    Unplanned? Planning for housing, in terms of sites, is a dynamic exercise. Few houses doan mean few lots. Land doan spile.

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  • @enuff

    Location, style, price

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  • The same way your friend say duh building 500 2×4 stalls in Fairchild Street for the past four years?

    But, uh dun know you ain’t gine SEE dah wun.

    Somebody gots to be selling in the Careenage?

    Oh, wait. Uh now see yuh “just arrived.”

    🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣

    Like

  • TheOGazertsMay 23, 2022 2:43 PM

    How can you have a 2×4 house in a 2×3 country? Somebody sleeping in the sea?
    Hi… Just arrived
    Xxxxx
    Ask.the minutes of illogical He can make sand dance

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  • Ask.the minutes of illogical He can make sand dance.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Four years and counting govt has yet to complete about FIVE HUNDRED (500) 2×4 STALLS promised in a year situated in Fairchild st.”

    “How can you have ‘500 2×4 stalls’ in a 2×3 country?”

    Ask the minutes of illogical. She can make sand cry with a laughter.”

    A damn liar!!!!!

    Like

  • JohnMay 23, 2022 9:49 AM

    We are fortunate to have one of the 100 most influential persons on earth in our midst to address these problems.

    https://time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2022/6177695/mia-mottley/

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    If Ms. Mockley can influence 300,000 highly educated Bajans into believing she is the prime minister in an unconstitutional parliament she can influence them to believe that 500 2×4 stalls can fit into a 2×3 country!!

    That’s why Time recognises her as one of the top 100 most influential persons in the world.

    All it will take now is for some other irreverent magazine to recognise Barbados as home to 300,000 of the most ignorant people in the world.

    Like

  • Effective 10/2/2022
    To accommodate houses and stalls Barbados shall now be referred to as a 5×5 island. Couldn’t even make it 2×4, as some builder would put the side of length 4 where the 2 should be.

    In a jocular mood.

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  • William Skinner

    @ David
    Are you saying that the private sector has to wait on government to plan lower income housing projects ?
    I thought all ot needed was permission from the town and country planning office to build the houses.
    I never said they should on anything.

    Like

  • @William

    The hope is that we have a comprehensive housing plan that meshes with an a vision for the country’s progress. In other words this is not about building houses.

    Like

  • William Skinner May 23, 2022 7:31 PM #: “@ David…..Are you saying that the private sector has to wait on government to plan lower income housing projects?”

    @ Mr. Skinner

    Let’s be realistic.

    Private sector businesses such as Barbados Lumber Company and Barbados Steel Works, for example, have benefited over the years, from both BLP and DLP administrations as it relates to the purchase of building materials for the construction and repair of houses for poor people, through the NHC, NAB’s Housing Welfare Program and subsequently, Urban and Rural Development Commissions.

    The private sector is selfish and uncaring. Why can’t they assist in financing a housing project and ask for tax concessions?

    Look at government’s fleet of vehicles and you’ll realise the majority were purchased from Simpson Motors, with a few from NASSCO and Courtesy Garage.

    Lights and decorations at Christmas time is not enough.

    But, we all know during a recession or, as was recently demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic, they would lobby ‘government’ for assistance to finance their ‘bottom line.’

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  • David et al

    Just saw Mia Mugabe Mottley on the cover of Time Magazine. Check it out

    What folly. NATO. No action talk only.

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  • 1000 houses

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  • 600 sq.ft. 2 bedrooms. $100,000 Barbados dollars.

    Good size for a starter home.

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  • William Skinner

    @ Artax
    That’s exactly what I have been trying to point out to @ David the for years on BU.
    I am now hearing all the consultants and economists, talk about the need for the private sector to step up but it will not.
    You are preaching to the choir . I have been “ realistic” about our private sector for donkey years.
    We lash the political class all over; we beat up the public service unfairly but , in many instances, the private sector has been the biggest block to real economic growth and development.
    They even were promised millions to offset the purchase of uniforms, they bought, but could not sell, because the children were out of school because of COVID; they don’t pay in workers’ deductions into the NIS; don’t invest in young entrepreneurs to any great extent; get millions of dollars written off in taxes and VAT and the largesse to them go on and on but we make excuses for them.
    This economy will go no where. We are not out of and not near to being out of the woods and if they are anymore tremors , it will be catastrophic.
    You call them “ selfish “ I call them rapists.

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  • William Skinner

    @ David
    This is about housing , Sir! This is about getting serious about providing houses for citizens of this country , who are in need of somewhere proper to live.
    This is not about picking out squatters and underwriting their illegal activities with taxpayers money to buy votes .
    Don’t you and others realise that all the major ministries are in deep trouble : housing, education, transport and works, tourism etc.
    COVID has ruthlessly exposed all the poor backward economic planning of the last half century.
    A country does not run on cliches and Bajan dialect. It needs to be run on creativity and innovation and our private sector does not display either in the interest of nation building.
    Don’t you see they prefer to sell out than innovate, create or adjust to the new reality.
    Those days of wishing and hoping that it will turn out alright just so , are gone.
    This economy is not going anywhere and it will not go anywhere because all we are getting is old wine being put in new bottles. Dress a pig anyhow you like it’s still a pig.
    Peace

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  • “If Ms. Mockley can influence 300,000 highly educated Bajans into believing she is the prime minister in an unconstitutional parliament……”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    You seem to be implying Barbados’ entire population is 300,000.

    If so, then, you’ve essentially included babies and children, who do not understand or have an opinion on these adult issues.

    This obviously means you’re among those “highly educated Bajans” that’s included in the “ignorant people” count.

    Like

  • ArtaxMay 24, 2022 12:10 AM

    You seem to be implying Barbados’ entire population is 300,000.

    If so, then, you’ve essentially included babies and children, who do not understand or have an opinion on these adult issues.

    This obviously means you’re among those “highly educated Bajans” that’s included in the “ignorant people” count.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The 300,000 is conservative, it is over the accepted population mark so obviously includes the diasporeans who identify as Barbadians and yet are unable to help themselves falling under the influence of one of the top 100 influencers in the world.

    Note, the 100 influencers are worldwide in their influence.

    Liked by 1 person

  • It goes without staying that not all diasporeans are influenced by one of the 100 most influential persons in the world, nor for that matter, are all Bajans.

    … but that is common sense and I should not be having to explain it to Bajans … or diasporeans who understand common sense.

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  • Haven’t heard anything more about the walk planned for June 7.

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  • Last/last

    “The 300,000 is conservative, it is over the accepted population mark so obviously includes the diasporeans who identify as Barbadians and yet are unable to help themselves falling under the influence of one of the top 100 influencers in the world.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “Conservative”….. “it is over the accepted population mark”……. “diasporeans who identify as Barbadians,”…… all TOTALLY IRRELEVANT.

    Rather than forget all that ‘shiite talk’ and ADMIT the TOTAL population, whatever the number, INCLUDES babies and children, you’re attempting to intellectualize a ‘shiite argument.’

    It’s similar to some other joker who has been trying to convince the forum that Barbados has a population of 270,000, 15% of which, voted for the BLP, when registered voters excludes prisoners, babies, children under the voter’s age and unregistered citizens.

    Like

  • William Skinner May 23, 2022 11:53 PM #: “Don’t you see they prefer to sell out than innovate, create or adjust to the new reality.”

    @ Mr. Skinner

    A perfect example is the tourism industry.

    Hoteliers have benefited from grants, tax concessions, reduced VAT and corporation tax. Even ‘tax write-offs.’
    Each time a recession or any adverse economic activity affect that industry, they run to ‘government’ begging for money to finance their bottom line.’

    Yet, they find all types of reasons and scams not to hire Barbadians in management positions.
    And, over the years, we cannot identify at least one of them who has demonstrated some level of ‘creative innovation’ to establish a ‘Barbados brand,’ similar to ‘Sandals.’

    Like

  • @William

    How many times must the blogmaster drill into your head that Barbados does not have a robust private sector. It is one defined by a tourism sector which is significantly foreign owned and retail distributive sectors, Barbados is a public sector led economy for this reason.

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  • @William

    To reiterate the point for the last time, this is about vision and strategy i.e.how as a country we want to plan resources and develop the country in a sustainable manner. It is not about littering Barbados landscape with houses like sheep and chicken shit.

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  • William Skinner

    @ David
    Usually, whenever we disagree , I can understand what you are saying.On this occasion, I am totally lost ! I simply , respectfully , do not understand what you are trying to say.
    All I said was the private sector could have been more proactive in Lower income housing solutions. That’s it.

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  • William Skinner

    @ @ Artax
    Some time ago, on this same BU, I made a similar point. If we research and follow international tourism information, the only property in Barbados, outside of Sandals, that gets any mention is Sandy Lane.
    Not one Barbados beach is in the top ten or I doubt, twenty in the entire world.
    Recently the announcement that we are one of the highest cost of living countries world wide , would not help.
    The continued hiring of foreigners to head agencies and some properties is a national disgrace and has been almost forever.
    The industry will continue to flatter and deceive. Quite frankly ,on several occasions, the current minister , has been very close to or some may even say, has been most inaccurate in her pronouncements about trends in the industry. Almost misleading.
    Contrary to popular propaganda, we are not a major tourism destination globally. Tourists come here but we have never been in the top tier of worldwide vacation spots.
    And we are not the number one in the Caribbean although we are probably in the top ten.
    We have lost considerable ground in the region long before COVID.
    Check the involvement of Sandals in the communities surrounding its environs.
    Sandals is a major sponsor of West Indies cricket and is perhaps the number one or one of the top privately held tourism products in the world.
    And all we complained about was the absence of Bajan rum at its facilities. The next question: who owns Mount Gay?

    Like

  • For a blog with so many experts, the misinformation is numbing. I don’t know if it’s ignorance or plain deceit; but I don’t have the time.

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  • @ Enuff
    “but I don’t have the time.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Stop telling lies.
    You DO have the time. What you DON’T have is any answers.

    Don’t you see that we are just where we were a few years ago when you and Bushie used to put some serious licks in Froon and Stinkliar’s donkeys?
    The owners have changed, but we are now dealing with the SAME brass bowl donkeys….
    Enuff,
    Jump ship …and come aboard the BBE lifeboat boss…
    You will see things a LOT clearer… LOLOL
    …but don’t bring Lorenzo….he too far gone…

    Like

  • ArtaxMay 24, 2022 4:07 AM

    Last/last

    “The 300,000 is conservative, it is over the accepted population mark so obviously includes the diasporeans who identify as Barbadians and yet are unable to help themselves falling under the influence of one of the top 100 influencers in the world.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “Conservative”….. “it is over the accepted population mark”……. “diasporeans who identify as Barbadians,”…… all TOTALLY IRRELEVANT.

    Rather than forget all that ‘shiite talk’ and ADMIT the TOTAL population, whatever the number, INCLUDES babies and children, you’re attempting to intellectualize a ‘shiite argument.’

    It’s similar to some other joker who has been trying to convince the forum that Barbados has a population of 270,000, 15% of which, voted for the BLP, when registered voters excludes prisoners, babies, children under the voter’s age and unregistered citizens.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    … and you have been set up and laid low.

    Grasshopper would never have fallen for that ploy!!

    Like

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @David, I surely have a very long gone concept of housing development in Bim and 2) also a very flawed concept of business operations as the view that a dedicated ‘for profit’ enterprise would focus on lower margin low income housing to the detriment of their ‘Shylock’ usurious revenue gains on the middle class developments projects.

    Some of the comments here are surprising in that broad perspective.

    Just recently I was chatting about friends who took the starter houses developed circa 70s by the govts of the day and overtime remodelled and developed excellent homes as the family expanded and the owners also evolved in their careers. That model is certainly still fit for purpose, surely.

    Of course too there is the weekend by weekend build with friends and family that was mentioned above and with modern updates that too is viable. (Updates could include using some pre-fab modeling)

    And surely I must imagine that govt will DEMAND that for every housing project done by builders like COW or Maloney or Ellock that a % must cater to and be built to facilitate a lower income group.

    That is the WAY of the world of business and everyone knows that. Low income housing is driven by a subsiding mentality because builders want to earn margins on home construction … so unless we want poor quality structures it’s almost a necessity to incentivize private developers to offer product in that space!

    And finally @Hants re that “600 sq.ft. 2 bedrooms. $100,000 Barbados dollars. ..Good size for a starter home.

    WOW … that must include land I suppose but even then the cost on a simple per sq. ft. basis seem very high… that tiny, starter house is worth that value!!! Those metrics seem off.

    Like

  • @ de pedantic Dribbler,

    Minister Sutherland said so.watch the video I posted above May 23, 2022 8:30 PM

    Liked by 1 person

  • Listening to Brasstacks as usual, after reading NationNews and Barbados Today online.

    Like

  • Bushie
    Boss you’d be surprise, but yuh know according to the experts on BU I’m a liar. If the big talkers on BU read more and talked less, the blog would be enriched. For example, since 2018/19 the government has implemented a policy to secure private sector contribution to the delivery of low-income housing. This has borne fruit. The new approach to housing provides a range of options based on income, type, tenure, materials etc. In some instances, some designed specifically to maximise sunlight to generate electricity and in every case in-built resilience. These are facts in the media.

    Like

  • @enuff

    The main point the blogmaster tried to make is that job tenure is not what it was 20 years ago. The model to own a house by Lowe to bottom of middle income has to change to reflect today’s reality.

    Like

  • RE: “… and you have been set up and laid low.”

    No, my friend. The only person you “set up” was yourself.

    RE: “Grasshopper would never have fallen for that ploy!!”

    Of course not!!!! Because you did use any ploy.

    Some sources define a ploy as ‘a scheme or cunning attempt to achieve a desired aim.’

    Rather than admitting you made an erroneous statement and ‘move on,’ you attempted to offer an explanation in your 1:13 and 1:28 AM contributions.

    Now you’re using a “ploy” in a feeble attempt ‘to SAVE FACE.’

    Like

  • David

    Whether for ownership or rental, homes need to be built because the declining BIRTH rate does not eliminate the need for housing since we have and always had a shortage leading to overcrowding and excessive rents. There is also the issue of poor stock, changing household profiles and of course the effect increased supply could have on the market itself. Accepting that we have to build, you can’t build without land and the cost of the land pushes up the price of housing. Planning obligations secure, for example, free land from the private sector for low-income housing. This should result in reduced costs. So that hardwood house shown in the video, provided on land obtained by government via planning obligations along with the PV to generate electricity for the grid is an innovative way to deliver low-cost housing. Another option would be for private developers to make a financial contribution or provide houses at costs set by government. The other and equally important factor, is the opportunity for low-income earners to create inter-generational wealth through home ownership. With little to no investment options available, house ownership as a starting point seems the most accessible and sensible. Unless you want the private sector provide housing for rent and government implement rent controls?🤣

    Like

  • @enuff

    What some want to see is a robust and relevant PPP approach to housing guided by a strategic plan, read both on the same page. This is as it relates to lower to middle income housing.

    Like

  • @ Enuff
    It is clear from your extended (and much appreciated) contribution above, that you are the ‘brains’ behind the BLP’s housing policies (or lack thereof) Yours has been the most comprehensive summary of BLP housing policy so far for this century.

    Of course is is all BS, but that is par for the course. 🙂
    This idea that everyone must get a house because ‘housing is important’ is identical to William’s obsession with ‘helping the unfortunate’..

    What everyone DESERVES is a fair OPPORTUNITY to achieve their own piece of the rock.
    Perhaps it is also fair to IMPEDE the super greedy, who wants to own every shiite, by setting certain upper LIMITS, but the folly of Housing Every Last Parro (HELP) and HOPE is just a bunch of political jobby.

    BTW… the only real progress made in housing by BOTH parties, has been in the GIVEAWAYS that have been done at taxpayers expense..
    – Free houses for all who claimed damages from Elsa
    – Free NHC houses for those with contacts
    – UDC and RDC largesse of epic proportions…
    ..Free $$$ to whoever is East West Investments of the Oriental Steal houses. (Is the ‘E’ in ‘East’ representative of ‘Enuff’???) LOL

    How about a COHERENT and comprehensive policy and plan of action that makes sense…?
    We can discuss it on BU, and then you can take it to Cabinet….

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  • The original post is a very good one. No one commented that even with a low rate of less than 4%,borrowers will pay back over $300K on the loan.

    As someone pointed out, the old model of building a bit when you catch your hand, my still be useful.

    There are strategies that can be employed to reduce the amount of interest paid, but I am doubtful if a person who is already financially stretched in the first place can employ any of these strategies.

    Like

  • Bushie
    Wrong! I read and understand what I read. It’s not my fault if something so simple is difficult for you to grasp. Wrong! I don’t believe everyone needs to own a house. Note I mentioned buying and renting. But if someone can get a modern home on a mortgage for $200 or $300 less than what people charging in rent it mek sense to do what? 🤣🤣🤣

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  • LOL @ Enuff…
    How can you be reading and understanding when Bushie said that your idea is that everyone must GET a house…?
    Bushie did NOT say ‘OWN’ vs ‘RENT’.
    So having constructed your straw man, you sharing licks in the bushman’s donkey?… you looking to kill an innocent bushman or wuh??!!

    Enuff, 40% of Bajans lime on the block; wuk for a few days till some $$$ flow; and then lime again till that gone. The fellows mostly live at their mothers, or with the current girlfriend… when the working man is out.
    The IMMEDIATE issue therefore is not to find them ‘a modern home’, but modern PRODUCTIVE employment.

    Pray tell Bushie how handing out large contracts to foreign entities for simple things like building low income houses can help these youths with their housing challenges?
    How does giving business opportunities too Chukka help these house-owning objectives?
    Why the Hell are we not overwhelmed with locally trained nurses? instead of IMPORTING hundreds to compete for the scarce local housing? What are we teaching our youth in school instead of nursing and business? how to beg and access social services from NIS without contributing?

    Wunna got the cart IN FRONT of the damn horse Enuff…. Stop talking shiite about ‘free houses’, affordable housing, etc and start talking about PRODUCTIVE JOB opportunities for LOCALS instead of strangers.
    This means your government being innovative and creative with agriculture, energy, manufacturing etc…
    .. but who wunna got that EVER did ANYTHING successfully – besides beg, buy and bribe people for votes…?
    Persaud the Four Seasons Guru?
    or Mascoll – the exDLP Guru?
    or is it the imported IMF fellow who talks, and talks, …and says NOTHING?

    Like

  • Critical Analyzer

    @Bush Tea
    Finally someone that understands how the poor people truly live. Saddling poor people with a mortgage is modern slavery. Their monthly income is too unstable mid to long term so within a few years they will be underwater and the bank will quickly repossess and resell the property.

    PPP projects like HELP, HOPE and what ever slick acronyms they pay the marketing people to come up with only benefit the banks and contractors, not the home owners.

    The housing problem can be solved in less than two years. Government has the largest land bank and they can bring legislation to reclaim all the derelict and abandoned properties every 5 years. Create 3,000 sq ft land only lots, put in the infrastructure and do for sale or rent to own land restricting it to first time land owners with low income earners getting first priority.

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  • Enuff, 40% of Bajans lime on the block; wuk for a few days till some $$$ flow; and then lime again till that gone. The fellows mostly live at their mothers, or with the current girlfriend… when the working man is out.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    There is nothing wrong in living at the home where you were born until you die!!

    Happens all over the world and was what happened in the past.

    Many people I know or know of do or have done it.

    The majority of Bajans did it routinely.

    Certainly a family should build “wealth” regardless of its size and pass it on from generation to generation.

    For me, there is something perverted in taking up good land and casting concrete over it.

    What is wrong with renting … lots of empty houses around, no need to build more.

    Like

  • Here is what some of Barbados looks like today.

    Here is what the same area looked like in 1952.

    Like

  • Critical AnalyzerMay 25, 2022 5:42 AM

    The housing problem can be solved in less than two years. Government has the largest land bank ….

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    GOB acquires land for its cronies benefit.

    Think of areas where the GOB have acquired and you will see things will never get better, only worse.

    No one has looked at the fact that the end is in sight.

    There is just so much land and the water has been all allocated since 1995/6.

    Much of GOB’s land is in the Scotland District, but I could be wrong.

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  • The problem as far as I can see is there are too many vacant houses, already built, that are unrentable.

    Barbados is over built.

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  • One of the factors we have to consider and it always comes back to economic considerations. Barbados is a labour intensive economy and this is how the construction sector contributes immeasurably to the domestic economy.

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  • There should have been a planned phasing out of the construction industry and it should have been happening years ago.

    Right now we are only shooting ourselves in the foot.

    There are few if any vacant lots but a surplus of houses.

    We do not need anymore.

    Like

  • The two sectors responsible for fueling growth are tourism and construction. We have calls to phase out both.

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  • In the 1952 scenario, everybody could grow their own food.

    In the 2022 scenario all rely on the super market.

    Like

  • Never heard of a call to phase out tourism.

    In fact, the surplus houses would fit right in to the tourist product and promote economic activity.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ Bushie

    “This idea that everyone must get a house because ‘housing is important’ is identical to William’s obsession with ‘helping the unfortunate’..”

    Helping the unfortunate is not an “ obsession “ with me. It’s a very deep personal, ideological , political and philosophical position.
    I have never advocated that people cannot help themselves and I long ago, made it clear on this same BU , that allowing poor black people to set up shacks and put together shanty towns. is not my idea of advancing the poors’ agenda.
    I have advised and very successfully a number of small self employed business people such as beach and other vendors to pay their national insurance and income tax.
    When the government was giving money to small black business people during COVID , a number of those I had advised were able to get it without any problem because they were paying income tax and national insurance.
    Long before COVID, I had said that the tax net should be widened to include self employed people who were deliberately not paying taxes or national insurance but are making very good money.
    You attempts to twist what I said is way below your intellectual competence . You are just playing the fool here.
    Bushie, you ought to know better.
    Peace.

    Like

  • Hurricane season is with us again and …

    Elsa victim still waiting on RDC
    By Maria Bradshaw mariabradshaw@nationnews.com
    A 65-year-old woman, whose roof was extensively damaged by Hurricane Elsa last year, feels as if the rug has been pulled from under her as well.
    This is seven months that Fay Sullivan of Free Hill Road, Josey Hill, St Lucy, has been living at a neighbour because construction work on her house, which was being rebuilt by the Rural Development Commission (RDC), came to a sudden stop.
    Sullivan, who suffers from vascular disease and is unable to walk without aid, said she was informed by an official at the RDC that the contractor who was assigned to rebuild her home was removed from the job.
    The house is halfway completed. She said the hurricane had extensively damaged the small wooden house which she had lived in since 1989 and Parliamentary representative for St Lucy, Peter Phillips, came to her assistance.
    “Mr Phillips told me he would try to get me a new house and a few days later a gentleman from the Rural visited me and said they would rebuild my house. I asked how long it will take and he said 16 weeks.”
    Contractor
    Sullivan said she was then introduced to the contractor, who informed her that she would have to be relocated to facilitate the rebuilding of her home.
    “He moved me to an apartment in Rock Hall, St Lucy last August,” Sullivan said, pointing out that the contractor never discussed anything with her about her living arrangements or rent. However, she said about a month later, the landlord started to accost her about being owed money from the contractor.
    When I called the contractor, all he told me was: “Ignore the man.”
    However, Sullivan said the landlord continued to harass her and at one point told her he was going to pack her belongings and put her out.
    “I could not take it anymore, so I called a neighbour and told her what was going on and she said I could stay at her house for three months.”
    That neighbour, Margo King, told the Weekend Nation that when Sullivan called her crying she decided to let her stay in her rental house for three months but that had now turned into seven months.
    Pointing out that the rental house was her only source of income, the woman said she contacted an official who was associated with Phillips and he told her that she would be paid rent for the additional time that Sullivan was there but up to now she had not received a cent.
    Meanwhile, Sullivan said
    she constantly telephoned an official at the RDC trying to find out what was going on with her house.
    “He told me that the contractor said he had to pay rent for me so he ain’t got no money to complete the house and that he was not on the programme anymore and someone else would be assigned.
    “I waited and waited but nobody came. I called the man at Rural several times and he was very rude to me. The last thing he told me was that he on holiday and he ain’t know nothing about my house.”
    Sullivan said the situation had left her stressed and worried.
    “I feel disappointed and left out. It is like everybody just put me on the back burner and forgot about me. All I want is for the house to be completed and for them to pay the woman her rent because she has been very kind to me. I feel bad that I am stopping her from making a living and I need to get back into my house,” she cried.
    When this newspaper contacted Russell Armstrong, director of the RDC, he said a dispute had arisen over money which was paid for the rental of a house for Sullivan. However, he said funds would be disbursed this week to the contractor so he could complete the house.
    When informed of this development, Sullivan said she was relieved.

    Source: Nation

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  • Affordable housing a challenge

    The term affordable housing is commonplace on a list of rich and developing countries, including India, the UK, Canada, Australia and the US.
    However, it may not have been directly used by Dwight Sutherland, Barbados’ Minister of Housing, Lands and Maintenance, when he recently outlined to Parliament a much needed and ambitious plan to build 20 000 units of housing along rural and urban contours but it could easily have been applied. After all, the issue of affordability of housing resonates with poor people who need decent and, yes, affordable “units” to live in and own.
    The substance of Sutherland’s contribution to the debate was straightforward enough. He showed that (1) the Mottley administration has recognised we have a significant shortage of affordable housing on our hands; (2) we may be closing in on a systematic approach to end a perplexing and inadequate supply of housing and (3) the Government wants to move aggressively to solve it.
    “I believe we can build 20 000 (houses) – that’s my belief,” was the way the minister zeroed in on his goal during a recent debate in the House Assembly on a resolution to approve the leasing of 14 acres of land at Fairy Valley in Christ Church so that a photovoltaic plant and a battery storage system could be constructed there.
    “We need to get the administrative process right and we can do it. Many said we can’t do certain things; some said we couldn’t win 30 seats and we did it twice.”
    Competitively priced roofs
    Internationally defined as housing which is affordable to renters or buyers whose total annual household income is at or below an established median, affordable housing refers to structures that are reasonably adequate in quality, size and location for individuals earning low or middle-income wages and salaries. In short, such housing should provide acceptable and competitively priced roofs over the heads of the poor, something
    that has bedevilled well-meaning public and private sector housing interests and investors for years, according to the United Nations and the World Bank, of which Barbados is a member.
    What the minister has in mind is a programme that encourages the working poor to switch from a mindset of renting to one of owning properties. But to do so, the Government and private sector developers must link arms to boost the housing supply in a fashion that would make a substantial dent in the backlog of housing applications filed at the National Housing Corporation, which is on the front line of the battle to transform dreams of home ownership into reality.
    It’s a laudable and achievable set of goals that can be realised if some key things come together.
    For instance, the Government should:
    •Continue using a mix of foreign and
    domestic housing suppliers who are sensitive to Bajan cultural and financial patterns.
    •Slash its own housing red tape and
    find much of the financial resources to pay people promptly for any land it is acquiring for housing.
    •Transform some of the unoccupied
    commercial properties into apartments, single-family dwellings and London Bourne-type housing.
    •Establish more partnerships with
    private developers.
    •Collaborate with the private sector to
    make property insurance coverage more affordable and appealing to homeowners.
    •Hope and pray that climate change and
    the frequency of hurricanes, floods and other environmental nightmares don’t set back the housing effort.
    Sutherland has apparently set a feasible target of 20 000 units. It is not pie in the sky. But it will require persistence by housing partners when it comes to construction, maintenance and availability of units.

    Source: Nation

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