BVI News

$26M Joe’s Hill Manor an albatross around pensioners’ necks — Penn


The Joe’s Hill Manor Estate has been equated to a distressing weight burdening pensioners, and concerns have been raised that the Social Security Board (SSB) may never recoup its million-dollar investment into the hillside property.

Eighth District Representative Marlon Penn raised those concerns when he recently questioned Social Development Minister Vincent Wheatley about how to address the Joe’s Hill Manor problem.

“The government needs to buy back that asset from Social Security, deal with the asset and the longer it sits, it’s going to be a huge liability — an albatross around the necks of the pensioners of this country, who now have $26 million dollars that could be invested for their retirement sitting on a hillside. That should not be the plight of the Social Security Board,” Penn said in the House of Assembly. 

Penn said he has already shared ideas with the government on how they can get the project moving after initial calls for first-time homeowners to occupy the spaces proved unsuccessful and out of their reach.

It’s not their money

But Wheatley shot back at Penn, accusing him of mischaracterising the circumstances and insisting that pensioners often receive more from the SSB than they put in.

“[Opposition member Penn] made a statement that I don’t appreciate at all. To say that we have the pensioners’ money sitting on a hill. That is a very misleading statement to make,” Minister Wheatley said.

Wheatley explained that Social Security funds are usually invested for pensioners, but it’s not pensioners’ money directly, he argued. “The average person gets a lot more out of social security than they put in. So, to loosely state that $26 million dollars of of pensioners of money is sitting up there is grossly misleading,” Wheatley said.

They’re not coming again

Penn, in the meantime, insisted that the money was sitting on the hillside ‘not earning a red cent’ or accruing any interest, even as pensioners looked on. 

He said the quicker that the SSB dumps the asset and allows the government to manage it, the faster the SSB can move to properly invest pensioners’ money.

Penn further argued that the government has already changed the eligibility criteria for home ownership at the Joe’s Hill Manor and nothing has happened since. 

“[If] persons haven’t come forward, then them ain’t coming again. So it suggests that there’s some deeper underlying issues there that we need to [address],” Penn said.


Copyright 2024 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Madam Smith says:

    Deputy premier since you helped put us here please kindly ask our Premier to step down from embarrassing himself and this territory. This is crazy

    Like 21
    Dislike 1
  2. Rubber Duck says:

    I am prepared to buy the whole complex for $1.25m

    Like 7
    Dislike 2
  3. Concerned says:

    I don’t understand why social security can’t loan the applicants the mortgage without hefty deposit the bank requires. Do your due diligence and only loan to people with steady jobs and excellent credit ratings. Most people pay high rents anyhow, but can’t afford the large deposits the banks are requiring. the social security board needs to recoop the $. No financial losses should be suffered.

    Like 24
    Dislike 4
  4. Hmmm says:

    Marlon was the Minister over the subject along with Mitch so why didn’t they address and resolve the matter at that time rather than always looking for negativity in order to try to get power.

    Like 7
    Dislike 16


  6. Hang on says:

    Joe’s Hill Manor will provide housing for all the UK administrators arriving in 2024 to take over the BVI. The UK government will pay the rent for the first 10 years so the SSB will be solvent until then.

    Like 10
    Dislike 6
  7. WELL WELL says:


  8. Resident says:

    Another Prospect Reef. Is the development insured and is there a maintenance program?

    Like 15
  9. Taxpayer says:

    Overpriced and unwanted

    Like 20
  10. Hmmm says:

    I made an imvestment in my future with SSB, now the minister saying i getting more than i put in. The fool should know that the purpose of investing is to get a return on that investment. And in this case, i was required by law to do so. Be responsible with your words Mr Minister. We are not fools like you think we to be telling us shite.

    Like 18
    Dislike 1
  11. Hmmm says:

    If they spent the people’s retirement money those ugly buildings should be free! Whoever want a house, just move in, they spent your money without your consent and without you gaining a return on this investment? It’s not government’s money nor the board’s money, that is the people’s money. That should have been voted on by the population. That money doesn’t belong to social security board! Y’all allowed these thieves to rob your retirement money and y’all not out there protesting?

    Like 11
  12. Anonymous says:

    “The average person gets a lot more out of social security than they put in” is blatantly false. I am not getting what iwas posted for. Somebody or persons in that department is robbing me.

    Like 14
  13. Reality says:

    Nobody is lining up to pay $300K and more to look down at Long Bush, let’s be real here. That was the stupidest location for such a project! That Government land could’ve been subdivided and sold at low prices to persons that would be interested in building their home or business in that area. Not Government/SSB deciding on the location, building what they want and then acting surprised that nobody wants to buy them.

    Like 25
    Dislike 1
  14. @Reality says:

    I always said the same!! What starts wrong cant end right

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  15. Sam Studdard says:

    The BVI pays the smallest amount of pension to beneficiaries when compared with other Caribbean states. What the Board did when it put aside sound financial sense for politics. They all need to be in jail. Then all the politicians (NDP vip or otherwise) need to be investigated and blocked from the HOA

    Like 12
    Dislike 2
  16. YES TO UK says:

    It is very shameful to hear someone who calls themselves a premier of the BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS to make this statement .The average person gets a lot more out of social security than they put in. So, to loosely state that $26 million dollars of of pensioners of money is sitting up there is grossly misleading,” Wheatley said. Wheatley you should think before you speak from what I understand social security is an investment that government collects from us so we will have something in our old age now you are making a statement like this SHAME ON YOU.

  17. Resident says:

    Yes, he is a mor$$n…

  18. Reality says:

    Immigration kicks off island expats by the tens of thousands not refunding any taxes SSB fund grows only pays out those who stay belongers laughing out loud.

  19. @Yes to the UK says:

    The Wheatley that is being preferred to is Vincent Wheatley and he is not the premier.

  20. SK says:

    Just another example of why governments (all) should say out of just about everything. Provide boarder security, education, good roads, clean water, and waste water removal. Other than that, just step aside and let the grownup’s work.

  21. Dede says:

    Here is a suggestion: Why not try leasing the homes under a rent to own system. Potential owners will have to go thru a process. Once qualify, a deposit is made. They can ask from $1000.00 to $2000.00 per month. This money can pay back what we borrowed from Social Security and be used to insure and maintain the building.

  22. My take says:

    I call those ugly a waste of money on the hill SUB PAR HOUSES DRAGON MANOR. They look like a DRAGON sitting on the hillside ready to let out hot steam. That money could have been used to fix the schools and build a decent nursing home. Why in the year 2023 the seniors in the nursing home is spending their golden years in squalor. You all treat the seniors like they are useless throw aways when they were the ones that cleared and pave the path for us. My late grandmother told me she use to walk from Sea Cows Bay over Slaney hill everyday to get to work in Road Town to make a dollar to help support her family while my grandfather went to St. Thomas to look for work. Start treating the elders like the kings and queens that they are in their golden years.

  23. Reality says:

    These units will be run down in no time. Besides the down payment and monthly loan-payments the owners will also need to pay high insurance rates and there needs to be a maintenance program and maintenance fees. So even if the Social Security Board will sell them off with an interest free loan, they still will need to find buyers who can afford to buy them. But to me interest an free loan from the Social Security Board seems to be the only way forward. And then there is the question are the monthly payments actually going to be made, Crafts Alive comes to mind.

Leave a Comment